Saudi Aramco Q3 Profit Slumps 44.6, Pandemic Chokes Demand

Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco on Tuesday reported a 44.6 drop in thirdquarter net profit as the coronavirus crisis continued to choke demand and weigh on crude prices.

Share prices of global oil companies have been hammered this year as investors fret over the impact of the pandemic on energy demand and the longterm shift away from fossil fuels.

Oil prices have recovered only slightly since tumbling to their lowest in almost two decades in March, prompting Aramco and other majors such as Shell and BP Plc to slash capital expenditure this year and next.

Weaker refining and chemicals margins also hit Aramcos net profit, which fell to 44.21 billion riyals 11.79 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, in line with an analyst estimate of 44.6 billion riyals provided by Refinitiv but down from 79.84 billion riyals in the same period of last year.

We saw early signs of a recovery in the third quarter due to improved economic activity, despite the headwinds facing global energy markets, Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said in a statement.

Aramco39;s shares rose as much as 1 and were 0.6 higher at 34.4 riyals by 0830 GMT. Although down 2.3 year to date, Aramco has outperformed the likes of Exxon XOM.N, BP and Shell, which are down by more than 50 while Chevron CVX.N is down by 40.

Analysts say that is partly because of the broader performance of the Saudi stock market, on which Aramco is listed, but also because the company has guaranteed its…

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