Aramco Q1 Profit Dives Over Viral Crisis
Saudi energy giant Aramco on Tuesday reported a 25% drop in first-quarter net profits due to low oil prices and said the coronavirus crisis will reduce demand and earnings in the year ahead. Brent crude prices fell 65.6% in Q1 2020, before OPEC+ producers agreed to reduce the supply by a record 9.7 million barrel per day starting from May to help shore up prices. The world’s largest listed firm said it posted a net profit of 62.48 billion riyals ($16.64 billion) in the first three months of the year, compared to 83.3 billion riyals ($22.2 billion) a year earlier. Despite the drop in profits, Aramco announced that Q1 dividends of $18.75 billion would be paid to shareholders in the second quarter and that these are “the highest of any listed company worldwide.” The dividend payment is in line with a plan for a $75 billion base payout to shareholders for the year. Aramco stock is currently trading at 31.35 riyals per share – a gain of 1.46% from the start of trade on Tuesday but still below the IPO trading price of 32 riyals.