Trending tickers: Saudi Aramco, Nvidia, Palantir and Disney

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2019, file photo, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company Armco and stock market officials celebrate during the official ceremony marking the debut of Aramco's initial public offering (IPO) on the Riyadh's stock market, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's oil and gas giant Aramco announced Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, third quarter profits of nearly $12 billion, a significantly higher net income from its dramatically lower second quarter earnings. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
Saudi Aramco is set to deliver $31bn in dividends. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Oil major Saudi Aramco said first-quarter profits fell as the Gulf kingdom kept production cuts in place but it will pay $31bn (£24.7bn) in dividends.

The Saudi state-owned company reported a 14.5% drop in first-quarter net income to 102.27bn riyals (£27.7bn), down from 119.54 billion riyals for the same period in 2023.

Aramco said the decrease was primarily a result of lower crude oil volume sold.

The world’s biggest crude exporter is currently producing roughly 9 million barrels per day (bpd), well below its capacity of 12 million bpd. Saudi Arabia and other Opec+ members have agreed to slash production voluntarily on top of a 2 million bpd output reduction agreed by the organisation in order to boost prices.

Read more: BP profits slump to $2.7bn amid falling oil prices

The company declared base dividend payouts for the first quarter totalling $20.3bn and a performance-linked dividend distribution of $10.8bn to be paid in the second quarter.

The Saudi government, which directly holds about 82.2% of Aramco, relies heavily on the company’s payouts, which also include royalties and taxes.

Nvidia was trending in pre-market trading as fellow mega-cap tech firms have been mentioning on earnings calls that they are boosting investment in AI infrastructure.

Nvidia's H100 GPU, which costs upwards of $40,000, enables the AI technologies that make ChatGPT, Anthropic, and other generative AI platforms possible.

Elon Musk said during Tesla’s (TSLA) earnings call that the electric vehicle manufacturer will more than double its H100 GPU chips by the end of the year.

Collaboration with Mercedes-Benz (MBG.SG) is expected to consolidate Nvidia's presence in the autonomous vehicles and other automotive electronics space.

The company — which is yet to report — is set to release of its next-generation AI chip later this year.

Palantir shares fell as much as 9% in extended trading after the defence-technology firm reported weaker-than-expected guidance.

The company, which builds big-data and artificial intelligence software for governments and corporations, reported first quarter adjusted earnings per share of $0.08, which was in line with expectations. Revenue of $634m was slightly better than the estimate of $615.8m.

Read more: FTSE 100 LIVE: European stocks tick up as earnings season rolls on

Adjusted operating income was $226m, well ahead of Palantir’s forecast of $196m to $200m.

Looking ahead, Palantir expects current quarter revenue to fall between $649m to $653m, versus the $653m expected by LSEG. The company guided to full-year revenue between $2.68bn and $2.69bn, weaker than an LSEG consensus estimate of $2.71bn.

The stock is up 47% so far this year.

Disney is set to report its fiscal second-quarter earnings before the US bell this Tuesday, its first earnings report since the media giant successfully fended off a high-profile proxy fight with activist investor Nelson Peltz.

Wall Street experts predict it will report a profit of around £3.6bn for the six months to March, thanks in part to a cost-cutting programme. This would be the best performance in six years.

Earnings per share are expected to come in at $1.10 and revenue should come in at $22.10bn versus $21.82bn in Q2 2023, according to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The subscriber growth at its flagship streaming service Disney+ will once again be a top focus.

Disney+ subscribers are expected to come in at 4.71 million versus a loss of 4 million subscribers in Q2 2023.

Disney's stock has been on a tear since the start of the year, up about 30% compared to the S&P 500's (^GSPC) 10% rise over that same time period.

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