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Saudi Aramco Closes In On Walmart As World’s Top Firm By Revenue

Saudi oil giant Aramco was a surprisingly close second to Walmart in the latest Fortune Global 500 list—the ranking of the world’s largest companies by revenue—published on Wednesday.   

Walmart retains its top spot as the biggest company by revenue for the tenth year in a row, with $611.3 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year.

Saudi Aramco was second, with revenues of $603.7 billion in 2022, up by 51% compared to 2021, due to high prices and tighter oil supply last year, also due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Saudi oil giant jumped up four places, from number 6 in last year’s Fortune ranking to no.2 in this year’s list.

The top ten in the Fortune Global 500 list of the largest companies by revenue also consists of, in descending order, State Grid of China, U.S. Amazon, China National Petroleum, China’s Sinopec, U.S. ExxonMobil, U.S. Apple, UK-based Shell, and U.S. UnitedHealth Group.

Oil and gas supermajors Exxon and Shell returned in the top ten on the Fortune list, thanks to the huge profits the industry raked in last year.

Saudi Aramco, while second in the world in terms of revenue, was the most profitable company in the Fortune Global 500 list, as it booked about $159 billion in profits in 2022, the largest earnings grab among any of the firms in the Global 500—and the most profitable year in history for a publicly traded company.  

Saudi Aramco reported a net profit of $161.1 billion for 2022, up from $110 billion a year earlier, and a record net earnings result for the company. The Saudi giant also boasted a record cash flow from operating activities, at $186.2 billion, and a record free cash flow, at $148.5 billion.

Aramco’s net income for the first quarter of 2023 slid by 19% year over year to $31.9 billion as macroeconomic concerns dragged down oil prices between January and March 2023.

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The Saudi giant reports second-quarter earnings on August 7, and those are also expected to be lower than last year’s amid lower oil prices from April to June compared to a year earlier.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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