from the could-give-$33-to-every-single-person-in-the-world dept.
When it reports its quarterly financial results on Tuesday, Apple will likely have a quarter-trillion dollars in cash in the bank.
That's a greater hoard than any other company in recent US history, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported the numbers on Sunday. For comparison, Apple's cash pile exceeds the market value of Walmart and Procter & Gamble. The sum is more than the foreign cash reserves of the UK and Canada combined.
Some 93 percent of the company's cash and other liquid assets are kept overseas. The Trump administration has proposed a tax holiday to encourage companies to bring money back to the US, as well as a lower corporate tax rate, fueling more speculation about how Apple will use its money. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he's interested in moving some of the company's cash stateside if tax conditions are right.
The article speculates about Apple buying another company, such as Tesla, Netflix, or Walt Disney.
From the WSJ article:
Mr. Cook has been somewhat more accommodating of shareholder desires than his predecessor. He started a dividend-and-stock-buyback program in 2012 that has since sent more than $200 billion to shareholders. And he has invested more in some areas, such as R&D.
But the CEO also stared down Carl Icahn in 2013 and 2014 when the activist investor bought a stake in Apple and demanded it increase buybacks. And Apple remains frugal in other realms, such as marketing. It spent less than $1.8 billion on advertising last year -- not even half the amounts laid out by smaller rivals Alphabet Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., according to company filings.
Apple also avoids large acquisitions. It bought at a rate of 15 to 20 companies a year over the past four years, generally spending several hundred million dollars on companies it can easily assimilate. Its biggest deal was the $3 billion it spent to buy Beats Electronics LLC in 2014.
The swelling war chest has fueled hopes for bigger deals to vault Apple in new directions such as self-driving cars and entertainment. At Apple's 2015 shareholder meeting, one investor asked Mr. Cook about buying Tesla Inc., which today is valued around $51 billion. The CEO didn't directly respond.