Let’s put Apple’s amazing cash on hand numbers into perspective once again. The company now has $137.1 billion in cash — a 12.9 percent increase from the last reported number, $121.3 billion. With such a big figure, it’s hard to realize how big it actually is. In 2012, HP had $120.4 billion of annual revenue. Apple slightly edges HP’s revenue with its cash. Even more impressive, Apple has slightly more cash than Vietnam’s nominal GDP of $123.6 billion.
Samsung Electronics’ annual revenue is a bit higher than that, as it is expected to reach around $180 billion for the fiscal year of 2012. But Apple is still dominating its competitor when it comes to cash.
Apple is still the profit generating machine that it has been over the past few years. As long as the trend continues, there is no end in sight and Apple will still have an impressive pile of cash (short-term investments) on hand.
Yet, Apple is showing signs of weakness. Growth seems to be slowing down, Samsung is becoming the fifth horseman of technology
With a market capitalization of $480 billion, Apple’s cash is part of the reason why Apple shares have been trading very high over the past twelve months. Even though there is a lot of uncertainty and volatility around Apple shares, its cash demonstrates that the company can innovate, acquire and move into other markets very easily — not that the company is actually spending a lot of unused money for those tasks.
Part of Apple’s profit will be used to give dividends to existing investors in order to increase commitment.
If Apple wants to invest years of research and development to create a new product line, the company only has to tap into its deep pockets of cash. But so far, the company has been very shy about big investments and acquisitions. It remains to be seen whether 2013 will bring a new course for the company.