Saudi Aramco beats Apple in market cap to emerge world's most valued company
12 May 2022
Oil giant Saudi Aramco has surpassed technology major Apple in market capitalisation to emerge as the world’s most valued company, on the back of zooming profits and Apple’s market woes.
On Wednesday, the share price of Saudi Aramco shot up to 46.20 riyals, bringing the market value to $2.464 trillion (9.24 trillion riyals), while Apple was valued at $2.461 trillion.
This was due mainly to the sinking share price of Apple despite the company reporting better-than-expected profits in the first three months of this year amid strong consumer demand.
The market value of Apple reached a peak of $2.960 trillion on 4 January, but maintained a downward trend since then, losing nearly $484 billion, while high oil prices supported Aramco’s profits.
Apple expects further dent in its June quarter results by $4 to $8 billion with the Covid-19 lockdown in China and the ongoing supply chain woes.
Saudi Aramco is scheduled to announce its financial results for the first quarter of 2022 on 15 May. The company’s profits have been boosted by expectations of achieving strong profits, taking advantage of the strong oil price gains since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Aramco shares continue to gain amidst oil price volatility, in parallel with setting a date for the delivery of free Aramco shares to its shareholders.
The profits of the Saudi company rose for the year 2021 to the highest level since its inclusion in the Saudi financial market, due to the rise in oil prices.
Net profit amounted to 412.4 billion riyals ($109.95 billion) for 2021, a growth of 124.4% compared to 2020.
Aramco announced the distribution of cash dividends to shareholders of 70.33 billion riyals ($18.75 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2021, in addition to a recommendation from the board of directors to capitalize 15 billion riyals ($4 billion) of the remaining profits and grant each 10 shares a bonus share.
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Saudi Arabia, one of the world's top oil exporters, has been under pressure to raise output as Russia's military intervention in Ukraine and the Western sanctions against Moscow have roiled global energy markets.
Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser cautioned that the company's outlook remained uncertain due in part to "geopolitical factors".
"We continue to make progress on increasing our crude oil production capacity, executing our gas expansion program and increasing our liquids to chemicals capacity," Nasser said.
On the results, for 2021, he acknowledged that "economic conditions have improved considerably". A strong rebound last year saw demand for oil increase and prices recover from their 2020 lows.