Mark Russell

Don't be fooled by calls for Apple to declare a dividend

July 21, 2011: 2:22 PM ET

Apple's $76 billion cash stockpile is burning a hole in Wall Street's pockets

Source: Asymco.com

It happens every quarter. Apple (AAPL) reports blowout sales and earnings. Its holdings in cash and marketable securities swell by billions of dollars -- by $10.7 billion, to be specific, in the past 90 days. And analysts come out of the woodwork to demand that the company spend some of those billions buying back shares or issuing dividends or, preferably, both.

Last year, when Apple's cash holdings reached $46 billion, Sanford Bernstein and Sons' Toni Sacconaghi wrote an open letter to Apple's board of directors reporting that investor frustration over all that wasted cash was "bordering on exasperation."  (See here.) Now that those $46 billion have grown to more than $76 billion  -- greater than the GDP of 126 nations, as Newser's Mark Russell helpfully points out -- Sacconaghi is set to burst.

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