Saudi Aramco Needs More Than Just Strong Earnings

Saudi Arabia’s national oil company Aramco has again outperformed forecasts. The world’s largest oil company, and 2nd largest listed company, reported a free cash flow of $18.3 billion in Q1 2021, a 30% increase from Q1 2020. At the same time, Aramco stated that it will maintain its dividend, with $18.8 billion due to be paid out in both the first and second quarter. The comparison with 2020 is, of course, a bit lopsided, as the oil market was suffering massive global demand destruction during that time period due to COVID and a major…