TECHCRUNCH: Apple, the word’s most valuable corporation, has a new cash tally: $194 billion. That’s to say that if you add up its cash, cash equivalents, short-term marketable securities, and long-term marketable securities, it totals $194 billion. Cash is a loose term that is usually employed at the corporate scale to include accreted value that remains functionally liquid.
Apple, which has more money than any other corporation that I know of, invests the majority of it in longer-term vehicles than many companies. That’s because Apple is so frakking rich that it can stash $160 billion in long-term securities, and still have plenty of cash around the globe to fund its operations and then some.
While Apple has been stacking the cash in various vaults, the company is also growing its debt pool. Apple’s long-term debt rose from $28.99 billion at the end of its quarter concluding on September 27, to more than $40 billion today.
Why would a company as wealthy as Apple hire debt when it has such tectonic wealth? It’s all about the cost of using cash: Apple’s cash is often stored in foreign countries, but it uses domestic funds to help fuel share purchases and the like. So, Apple can afford to borrow money in the United States, for example, at comically low interest rates today — the macro climate makes this sort of activity materially profitable — to avoid repatriating foreign cash, which would incur a steep tax penalty.
As part of its earnings report, Apple told investors that it will increase its “Capital Return Program” to more than $200 billion, up more than 50 percent. Apple uses share buybacks and dividends to return cash to its shareholders.