Saudi Aramco Q3 net income jumps 39% on higher crude prices

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FILE PHOTO: A view shows branded oil tanks at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq

By Hadeel Al Sayegh

DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian state oil producer Aramco on Tuesday posted a 39% jump in its third-quarter net income that beat analysts’ forecasts, boosted by higher crude oil prices and volumes sold.

Aramco’s net income rose to $42.4 billion for the three months to Sept. 30 from $30.4 billion a year earlier, it said in a regulatory filing. It was just above the median net profit forecast of $41.7 billion from 16 analysts.

“Aramco’s strong earnings and record free cash flow in the third quarter reinforce our proven ability to generate significant value through our low cost, lower-carbon intensity upstream production and strategically integrated upstream and downstream businesses,” Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said.

The company’s free cash flow rose to $45 billion from $28.7 billion a year-earlier. It declared a dividend of $18.8 billion in the third quarter, meeting its own target, which will be paid in the fourth quarter.

Aramco joins oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron that have reported strong or record breaking results in recent weeks, benefiting from surging crude and natural gas prices that have boosted inflation around the world and led to fresh calls to further tax the sector.

“While global crude prices during this period were affected by continued economic uncertainty, our long-term view is that oil demand will continue to grow for the rest of the decade given the world’s need for more affordable and reliable energy,” Nasser said.

Aramco’s reported net income while higher year on year, was slightly lower in comparison to its record second quarter.

Net income was also partially offset by increased production royalties largely attributable to higher average effective royalty rate, resulting from stronger crude oil prices and higher sales volume.

Royalties and other taxes more than doubled year-on-year in the third quarter to $24.3 billion, from $10.48 billion last year.

(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Christopher Cushing, Kim Coghill and Rashmi Aich)

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