Most Profitable Company in World Isn't What You Think

Saudi oil giant cleared $111 billion in 2018
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2019 6:47 PM CDT
A Saudi oil official watches progress at a rig.   (AP Photo/John Moore, File)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia has let the world see the financials for its national oil company for the first time, and they couldn't be much better. Saudi Aramco posted $111 billion in net income in 2018, making it the world's most profitable company by far. That $111 billion is more than Apple and Exxon Mobil made combined, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon, by comparison, cleared a paltry $10 billion. The oil company's figures were included Monday in a prospectus for a $10 billion bond sale, per CNBC, which Saudi Aramco plans to use to finance a nearly $70 billion stake in Saudi Arabia's petrochemicals company.

Saudi officials hope the figures will build confidence in the kingdom's plan for an IPO for the oil company by 2021, per the Journal. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants the billions an IPO would raise to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy, partly by funding other industries such as technology and mining. "These financials have not been open to the public," a senior portfolio manager said. "It is an important issue, and this is probably a stepping stone to an IPO." He predicted demand from investors would be strong. Still, Saudi Aramco did not receive the top credit rating from agencies like Moody's because of its dependence on the country’s economy. Moody's issued an A1 rating; Chevron and Exxon Mobil have higher ratings of AA2 and AAA. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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