Apple unseated as world’s most profitable

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All it took was for Mister Bone Saw to open Aramco’s books.


From “Aramco Emerges Ahead of Apple” in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal ($):

With $111 billion in net income in 2018, Saudi Aramco, as the firm is known, had bigger returns last year than Apple Inc.and Exxon Mobil Corp.combined. Before taxes and other expenses, the firm said it made $212 billion, a figure similar to the combined military budgets of the 28 member states of the European Union.

The financial information on Monday was disclosed in a prospectus for a planned bond sale of at least $10 billion to help fund the acquisition of a $69.1 billion stake in Saudi Arabia’s national petrochemicals firm. The 470-page document provided the first look under the hood of Aramco’s finances since the once-American-run firm was nationalized over three decades ago and its profits became state secrets.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s day-to-day ruler, wants to use the IPO to raise tens of billions of dollars to build new futuristic new cities, diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy and fund a host of non-oil industries like technology, entertainment and mining…

Aramco has chosen banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to manage its first debt offering and hold a roadshow beginning Monday in at least eight cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Investment bank Lazard is also an independent adviser on the bond sale.

My take: Say what you want about what News+ might do to the economics of journalism, at least Apple doesn’t go around dismembering journalists. Should be an interesting road show.

This is the third time Mohammed bin Salman’s shadow has crossed this site. See also: