In its earnings release today, Apple revealed that it now has $202.8 billion cash on hand in the form of cash, cash equivalents, short-term marketable securities, and long-term marketable securities.
While only about 7.5 percent of this hoard is actually cash, the above terms are used in the corporate world to describe cash-like liquid assets. Notably, total company assets (including things like inventory, accounts receivable, and property) now total $273 billion.
Ironically, the company’s long-term debt has ballooned to $47.4 billion, up from $40 billion at the end of last quarter. Most of this new debt came from an $8 billion bond offering in May.
Why is the company raising debt when it already has an obscene amount of money?
Mainly because cash in the United States is extremely cheap at the moment, and most of Apple’s cash hoard is located offshore. The company decided that the tax costs of bringing this cash into the U.S. is more expensive than just raising debt.
These domestic funds are then used to fuel corporate activities like share buybacks and dividends. Initially launched in 2012 in the form of a $45 billion buyback, the capital return program was increased multiple times, now totaling $200 billion.