President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, Amin H. Nasser (R) delivers a speech during 2nd day opening session of 23rd World Energy Congress. Photo: Isa Terli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Oil giant Saudi Aramco made nearly $34 billion in net income during the first half of 2017, making it the world's most profitable company, according to data viewed by Bloomberg News. Profits are also likely to be much higher this year thanks to increased oil prices.

Why it matters: The story reveals extremely closely held financial data as the state-owned Aramco readies what's likely to be the largest IPO ever, although the listing appears delayed until at least 2019 and is soaked with uncertainties.

One level deeper: According to Bloomberg, Aramco is nearly debt-free and "enjoys production costs running at a fraction of the industry standard." The company's per-barrel production costs are roughly $4, compared to around $20 for Exxon and Shell, according to Bloomberg, which notes the metric refers to oil, condensate and gas.

Yes, but: The story also explores data and various factors that may give investors pause.

  • They note that the government relies heavily on the revenues for social and military spending, which alongside cash flow and the kingdom's tax structure is "likely to limit the scope for dividend payments after a share sale."

Note: Aramco, in a statement to Bloomberg, called the information "inaccurate."

Go deeper

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.