Apple ended last quarter and the year with almost $100 billion in cash ($97.6 billion, to be exact—much of that is held overseas for tax purposes). For comparison’s sake, that is twice as much cash as Google, which ended the year with $44.6 billion in the bank.
What should Apple do with all of that money? They could buy Facebook, which is supposed to IPO at around a $100 billion valuation. But “it is not in Apple’s nature to do big acquisitions,” points out BGC analyst Colin Gillis at the tail-end of this video interview. “In fact, a big acquisition would probably be disastrous for Apple.” He thinks Apple should give some of that money back to shareholders instead through share buybacks or dividends. Watch the rest of the video, as we discuss Apple’s biggest quarter ever.
All Apple would say during the quarterly earnings call about its cash position is that it is in “active discussions” internally about what to do with it.
Apple’s cash last quarter was $81.6 billion, and six months ago it was $75.9 billion. Every year it just hoards more and more cash. The chart below shows how its cash has grown from $15.4 billion back in 2007, the year the iPhone launched.