Apple Now World’s Most Profitable Business, Taking a Bite Out of Saudi Oil Company’s Legacy

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Saudi Arabia’s state-backed oil company Saudi Aramco lost the title of world’s most profitable company to tech giant Apple, Quartz has reported. For the 2020 fiscal year, the computer and iPhone maker netted $57.4 billion, while Saudi Aramco lost 44% in annual profits, reaping a mere $49 billion for FY 2020.

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The nearly worldwide quarantines and lockdowns caused by the pandemic resulted in less oil being used for gasoline, creating a record drop in worldwide carbon emissions, according to CNBC.

Carbon emissions dropped by 2.4 billion tons, or 7%, in 2020. But what’s good for the planet isn’t always good for profits. Oil prices dipped below $0 at one point with decreased demand, causing Saudi Aramco to relinquish its seat on the throne of most profitable company – once claiming the title as the world’s biggest IPO.

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Consumers continued to purchase electronic devices throughout the worst of the pandemic, however, and into the holiday season. In the final quarter of 2020, Apple yielded $22.8 billion in profits, Quartz reports. The company sold 15 million iPhones between April and June 2020, 10% more than they had sold during the same time period in 2019 and more than had in any quarter prior, according to MacWorld.

In July 2020, prior to achieving its record earnings for the year, Apple had already surpassed Saudi Aramco with a market capitalization of $1.817 trillion compared to Saudi Aramco’s $1.76 trillion market cap.

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Apple stock was up 3%, trading at more than $123 per share as of Monday afternoon.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.

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