Maxim Shemetov | Reuters
The Saudi Arabian behemoth said net income rose 82% to $39.5 billion in the first three months of the year, up from $21.7 billion over the same period last year. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast net income of $38.5 billion dollars.
The record quarter for Aramco comes amid a standout quarter for Big Oil, which is benefiting from a sharp rise in oil and gas prices. Aramco said its earnings were driven by higher crude oil prices, rising volumes sold and improved downstream margins.
“During the first quarter, our strategic downstream expansion progressed further in both Asia and Europe, and we continue to develop opportunities that complement our growth objectives,” Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said in the earnings release Sunday.
“Against the backdrop of increased volatility in global markets, we remain focused on helping meet the world’s demand for energy that is reliable, affordable and increasingly sustainable.”
Aramco stock is up over 15% so far in 2022. In March, the oil giant reported that its full-year profit last year more than doubled due to the ongoing rise in oil prices, driven higher by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, looming European Union sanctions on Russian oil and the prospect of tighter supply.
Aramco is rewarding investors as a result. The company said it would use $4 billion dollars in retained earnings to distribute bonus shares to shareholders — amounting to one share for every 10 shares held. It also kept its enormous dividend stable at $18.8 billion dollars, covered by a 68% year-on-year increase in free cash flow to $30.6 billion dollars.
Read More: Oil giant Aramco reports record first quarter as oil prices soar