January 15, 2020 / 11:35 AM / 13 days ago

BofA gives Saudi Aramco 'neutral' rating, 36 riyal price target

FILE PHOTO: A helmet with logo of Saudi Aramco is pictured at the oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

LONDON (Reuters) - BofA Global Research started its coverage of Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Saudi Aramco (2222.SE) with a ‘neutral’ rating on Wednesday, setting a price target of 36 riyals ($9.60) per share and saying its fundamentals were now “fully priced”.

“Aramco is unique. In terms of quality of assets, scale and profitability it dwarfs just about any company globally,” BofA said in a note. “Yet, at current valuations, most of the outstanding fundamental factors are already priced in.”

BofA, the rebranded Bank of America Merrill Lynch research unit, joins a growing list of major brokerages who have started rating Aramco in recent weeks after its record $29.4 billion stock market floatation last month.

JPMorgan (JPM.N) also initiated its coverage on Wednesday with an “overweight” recommendation. It set a price target of 37 riyals ($9.86) per share, saying that it saw scope for an increase in the energy giant’s proposed $75 billion base dividend.

Goldman Sachs on Tuesday said it rated the company “neutral” but with a higher price target of 41 riyals, while HSBC issued a “hold” rating and a target of 36.80 riyals.

Reporting by Marc Jones, editing by Louise Heavens

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