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Aramco Q1 Profit Dives Over Viral Crisis
Headquarters of oil giant Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. (Wikimedia Commons)

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.

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