Saudi Aramco reported a 30% jump in net income on Tuesday in a sign of continued recovery from the previous year’s oil market crash that saw full-year earnings for the state firm slashed in half. The company added that the net income rose to $21.7 billion in the first three months of the year, up from $16.6 billion in the same period last year.
This report beats some analysts’ estimates of $17.24 billion, despite lower oil production in February and March. The figure nears the firm’s net income level in the first quarter of 2019, which was $22.2 billion. The free cash flow in the first quarter of 2021 was $18.3 billion, up from $15 billion over the same period last year. Saudi Aramco oil producer also maintained its dividend, with $18.8 billion due to be paid out in both the first and second quarter.
Saudi Aramco has been in talks to raise cash from other asset sales as well, including the $12.4 billion sales of its pipeline unit that could free up cash to pay down debt. In mid-April, the company penned a deal to sell a 49% stake in its pipelines to EIG Global Energy Partners, a U.S.-led consortium.