It took Saudi Aramco just nine months to make $68 billion

Money men.
Money men.
Image: Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed
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As Saudi Aramco gears up for a blockbuster IPO, the state-owned oil giant is revealing (pdf) more details about its earnings so far this year.

While the specifics of its long-delayed IPO—the size of the stake on offer, the extent to which foreign buyers are allowed to participate, and the all-important valuation of the firm—remain fuzzy, what’s not in doubt is the company’s unparalleled profit-making power.

Aramco earned $68 billion in nine months, amassing in three quarters more profit than other companies can generate in years. The eye-opening numbers released to date will be bolstered by an IPO prospectus expected on Nov. 9, which will probably feature additional gaudy financial figures.

Most blue-chip companies look like minnows in relation to Aramco. It took Apple, the most profitable listed company (for now), 15 months to make as much as Aramco did in nine. The past four-and-a-half years at Exxon generated as much profit as Aramco’s first three quarters this year. Since it was founded in 1994, Amazon has made about 40% of the profit in total that Aramco has generated since just the start of 2019.

And most remarkable, perhaps, is that Aramco’s bumper profit so far this year is nearly 20% less than what it made in the same period last year.