Apple is flushed with cash, reports the Wall Street Journal, and is expected to announce reserves of more than $250 billion in Tuesday’s earnings report.
That’s enough, the Wall Street Journal says, to outstrip the market values of both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., and to exceed the foreign-currency reserves of the United Kingdom and Canada combined. The company has doubled its cash reserves in the last four and a half years and apparently was building up bank at a rate of $3.6 million an hour. Or about a MacBook Air per minute.
With all that money just sitting around, there’s going to be pressure for the company to spend some of it. The WSJ suggests that Apple could provide a special dividend payment to investors. An acquisition is a possibility, too, with a wide variety of companies out there that would fit into Apple’s plans. Another possibility, however, is that Apple is waiting on the White House. The President has promised to give big corporations a tax break on bringing money back to the U.S. 90 percent of Apple’s reserves are held abroad, so a break like that could compel them to bring that money back into the country.
What fans would really like to see, though, is Apple dumping that money back into R&D. The pace of innovation on products like the iPhone and MacBook has slowed, and a shot of Apple Magic would be appreciated after years of subtle iteration.
Apple’s earnings call it set for 2 p.m. PT on Tuesday, and we’ll find out then just how much cash the company has on hand.