By Hadeel Al Sayegh
DUBAI (Reuters) -Saudi Arabian state oil producer Aramco said on Tuesday its third-quarter net income rose 39%, boosted by higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, beating analysts’ forecasts.
Aramco’s net income rose to $42.4 billion for the quarter to Sept. 30 from $30.4 billion a year earlier, it said in a bourse filing. That 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,” CEO Amin Nasser said in the statement.
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, in line with its own target, which will be paid in the fourth quarter.
Aramco joins oil majors such as 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.
(Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Kim Coghill)