SAUDI Aramco reported its second-highest earnings as a listed company, as it continued to benefit from this year’s surge in oil and gas prices.
Aramco’s net income was US$41.6 billion (RM196.95 billion) in the third quarter, slightly above analysts’ expectations. That was down from a record profit of US$48 billion between April and June, but up around 40% year-on-year.
The company kept its dividend — the world’s largest — unchanged at US$18.8 billion for the quarter, despite generating free cashflow almost US$10 billion more than that. Its gearing ratio, a measure of net debt to equity, turned negative for the first time since early 2020, underscoring the sharp improvement in business conditions for Aramco since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Oil prices have declined from 14-year highs March as rising inflation and monetary tightening from central banks slow the global economy. Yet Brent futures have still gained more than 20% this year and are trading around US$93.50 a barrel.
“While global crude oil prices during this period were affected by continued economic uncertainty, our longterm view is that oil demand will continue to grow for the rest of the decade,” CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement. – BLOOMBERG