Saudi Aramco, divulging its finances for the first time, revealed that it is the world’s most profitable company.
The Saudi oil company made $111 billion last year, according to a note from Moody’s. The rating agency based that on a prospectus for a massive bond offering Aramco expects to use to help finance the purchase 70% of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation. Aramco hopes to buy that stake in the state-owned petrochemical company for $69.1 billion.
It is the first public disclosure of earnings by Aramco in the decades it has been owned by the Saudi government.
By comparison, Apple (AAPL), the world’s most profitable public company, made $59.4 billion in 2018, just over half as much as Aramco. ExxonMobil, the largest US oil company, made $20.8 billion, while Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA), the largest publicly traded oil company, made $23.4 billion.
Aramco had revenue of $355.9 billion, according to the Moody’s note, and $48.8 billion of cash on the books at the end of last year. That’s far more than its debt of $27 billion. It was helped by a 31% increase average oil prices in 2018 compared to 2017.
Aramco planned to go public last year. It would have put 5% of the company up for sale in what might have been the largest initial public offering ever. The Saudis were reportedly looking to raise $100 billion in the offering, which would value the company at $2 trillion, or twice as much as Microsoft (MSFT), the most valuable public company with a market value of $904.8 billion.
But the offering never came to pass.