Oil giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co. had a net income of $111.1 billion in 2018, making it the most profitable company in the world, according to first-of-its-kind information provided by key ratings agencies April 1.
Saudi Aramco was assigned an A1 rating by Moody's for its global medium-term note program and an expected A+ rating from Fitch Ratings for the medium-term notes and its upcoming global bonds, according to separate statements from the rating agencies. Both agencies gave the state-owned company the fifth-highest credit rating.
The company will start meeting investors in Asia, Europe and the U.S. this week for its $10 billion bond debut in the international capital markets, which opens Aramco's books to investor scrutiny for the first time.
The bond will help in its acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp. from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for $69.1 billion. Bloomberg reported April 1 that Saudi Aramco will pay 50% of the Sabic acquisition price when the deal closes and the rest will be staggered until 2021.
Moody's also assigned Saudi Aramco a first-time A1 long term issuer rating, while Fitch also gave the company a long-term issuer default rating of A+ with a stable outlook. Moody's said the company's rating will be dependent on the kingdom's sovereign rating as it is fully state-owned but the agency said the credit profile will remain robust despite the volatility of crude oil prices.
Fitch Ratings said the company has a standalone rating of AA+, which places the company among the upper boundary of the Fitch rating spectrum for oil and gas companies due to its high production, vast reserves, low production costs and very conservative financial profile.
Moody's also reported the oil and gas giant surpassed Apple in net income last year, with Aramco's income reaching $111.1 billion compared with Apple's profit of $59.5 billion. Aramco's net income amounts to the combined net profit of Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp., Bloomberg reported.
Saudi Aramco had $48.8 billion in cash and generated cash flow from operations of $121 billion last year, Bloomberg reported.