Apple may have never been the world's most profitable company

Apple may have never been the world's most profitable company
The rising price of oil has not only hurt your wallet's thickness at the pump in the gas station but also Apple's standing as the most profitable company in the world. The world's top phone maker in terms of revenue and margins has now given way to none other than Saudi Aramco, the oil giant from the sands of Arabia.

Saudi Aramco bagged the whopping $111 billion of net income last year, buoyed by the rising price of oil, but the reason we are learning this is that the government of Saudi Arabia wants to list the oil giant on a public stock exchange for the first time. Aramco used to be run by Americans a long time ago, but Saudi Arabia moved to nationalize it after the U.S. support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War, and it has been shrouded in secrecy ever since.

Until Monday, that is, when the Saudis posted the financial results of Aramco for 2018 in order to show how serious they are about floating its shares in a public offering. The $111 billion in net profit is a huge bump compared to the $76 billion that the firm notched in 2017 when the price of oil was depressed. It's still way higher than the $60 billion that Apple made in 2018, though.

In fact, the $100+ billion figure is higher than Apple, Google and Exxon Mobil's profits for last year combined which makes one wonder if it hadn't been Saudi Aramco the most profitable company in the world all this time, disguised under a veil of Saudi secrecy. Needless to say, Aramco is in the "old economy" extraction business, not the fickle consumer electronics and software hustle where you have to constantly be on the added value top, but a rank is a rank nonetheless. Still, Apple is the most profitable among the publicly listed companies, and that's a title that no oil company coming out into the stock exchange limelight can take away until it gets listed.

This WSJ ranking of Saudi Aramco's net 2018 profit against some large US firms, including oil businesses, is a tell-all

This WSJ ranking of Saudi Aramco's net 2018 profit against some large US firms, including oil businesses, is a tell-all

FEATURED VIDEO

6 Comments

1. mootu

Posts: 1409; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

I've been saying this for the last few years on here but as usual people don't want to hear it. BTW Apple did not make $60 billion last year, they made $56 billion but that doesn't sound as good but what's $4 billion between friends.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 3872; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

"Still, Apple is the most profitable among the publicly listed companies, and that's a title that no oil company coming out into the stock exchange limelight can take away until it gets listed." Wrong again but why let facts get in the way of a good humor piece...https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/02/petrochina-did-not-fare-well-after-reaching-1-trillion-in-market-cap.html

3. Stranded87

Posts: 51; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

Huh? The bit you quoted isn't saying Apple is the most profitable ever just the most profitable currently. The fact that PetroChina hit $1 trillion first doesn't change that.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 3872; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

If this Saudi company is still even remotely close to last years performance they are still the most profitable. Apple isn't even the top valuated company in N America as Microsoft is still ahead in market cap

4. Ichimoku

Posts: 132; Member since: Nov 18, 2018

I'm just mere smartphone user not an investor. So, tech news like this is really doesn't matter for me or maybe everyone who using a smartphone as a tool.

5. whatev

Posts: 2129; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Saudi Aramco is the company where I want to work, their employees have luxurious privileges :(

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.