How Does Apple Rank Vs Other Companies Hoarding Cash?
A new working paper, highlighted in the Washington Post, says cash hoarding isn’t new – it’s been in the works for decades. As saving has gotten cheaper, companies have been spending less on wages and sending more to a big pile to sit on.
Who’s sitting on big piles of cash? Apple (AAPL) is famous for that, with $117 billion sitting around in cash, short-term securities and long-term securities. Its founder Steve Jobs was reportedly obsessive about it, scarred by Apple's onetime brush with bankruptcy.
Others are piling it up, too. We used the YCharts screener to rank companies by their cash and equivalents, then eliminated businesses (like banks and insurers) whose business model mandates keeping cash around. (Apple's total looks low because most of its money is in securities that don't list as cash.)
But as the working paper gets at, it’s not just having the cash that matters, it’s what you do with it, whether it's pay wages or create value: