Apple may have never been the world's most profitable company
05 April, 2019, 17:20
Saudi Arabian Oil company Saudi Aramco disclosed its financial accounts on Monday that clearly defines it made the world's biggest corporate profit previous year.
That helps its valuation, as does the rise in the price of crude since Aramco first flirted with an IPO. Fitch Ratings, which also saw the accounts, said Aramco reported $224 billion in earnings before tax and depreciation, while maintaining low debt levels. By contrast, Apple booked a net profit of about USD60 billion in its last full year, Royal Dutch Shell had net income of USD23 billion and Exxon Mobil USD21 billion.
The prospectus-which was filed with the London Stock Exchange where the Aramco bonds will be listed-showed that Aramco does not generate as much cash as other leading oil companies because of its heavy tax burden.
Previously reluctant to disclose its financials, Aramco had to reveal them in order to obtain a public rating and start issuing worldwide bonds.
Moody's said the oil giant's revenue hit USD355.9 billion previous year and that it produced 10.3 million barrels per day of crude oil in 2018.
Fitch said its A+ rating reflects the "strong links" between the company and the kingdom, and the influence the state has on Aramco through regulating the level of production, taxation and dividends.
In their first-ever grade assessment for Aramco, Fitch issued the firm an A+ rating, while Moody's gave the company it's A1 rating.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said earlier this year Aramco's planned bond sale would raise around $10 billion, but banking sources said the transaction could be larger.
Aramco reported funds flow from operations - a measure closely watched by investors and similar to cash flow from operations - of $26 per barrel equivalent of oil a year ago, according to Fitch.
"Saudi Aramco has many characteristics of a Aaa-rated corporate, with minimal debt relative to cash flows, large scale of production, market leadership and access in Saudi Arabia to one of the world's largest hydrocarbon reserves", said Rehan Akbar of Moody's.
Based on its finances, massive hydrocarbon reserves and low production cost, its stand-alone rating would have been a top AA+ on an equal footing with global oil companies, Fitch said.
The SABIC deal will be completed in 2020, Aramco said separately in the prospectus, adding it will fund half of the acquisition with promissory notes issued to the PIF.