RIYADH: Energy giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co.’s net profit in the fourth quarter of 2022 is expected to drop to SR146 billion ($38 billion), down 6.3 percent from the previous quarter, according to Al Rajhi Capital.
In its report, the Riyadh-based firm noted that the reduction in net profit is due to a weak demand outlook amid a global economic slowdown.
According to the report, the decision to cut output prices by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, and its allies, known as OPEC+, coupled with weak oil prices, also negatively impacted Saudi Aramco’s earnings in the fourth quarter.
The report, however, revealed that Aramco’s net profit in the fourth quarter could still be up 25.4 percent year on year, with the oil giant reporting a profit of SR116 billion in the final three months of 2021.
“Oil prices, despite the OPEC+ production cut deal, declined by around 9 percent quarter on quarter in the fourth quarter, largely impacted by a weak demand outlook amid the likely economic slowdown,” said Al Rajhi Capital in the report.
In December, OPEC+ decided to roll over its existing policy to cut output by 2 million barrels per day, which equals to about 2 percent of world demand, from November until the end of 2023.
According to the report, the petrochemical sector in Saudi Arabia is likely to continue witnessing pressure on earnings in the fourth quarter, driven by weak product spreads amid lower product prices.
The report noted that the net profit of Saudi Basic Industries Corp., known as SABIC, in the fourth quarter is estimated to be down 64.9 percent year on year to SR1.7 billion.
Al Rajhi Capital added that the net profit of Saudi International Petrochemical Co., known as Sipchem, will drop by 61.9 percent year on year to SR503 million.
However, Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co., another major player in the Kingdom’s energy sector, could report a net profit of SR63 million, up 16.8 percent from the previous period last year, the report added.
The analysis went on and said that the healthcare sector had a promising fourth quarter.
“The fourth quarter is seasonally a strong quarter for the healthcare sector. We estimate a topline growth of 11 percent year on year and 8 percent quarter on quarter mainly led by low double-digit growth by most of the hospital operators,” said Al Rajhi Capital in the report.