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What To Do With $98 Billion In Cash

     
12:34 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What To Do With $98 Billion In Cash [reuters.com]
Apple CEO Tim Cook has a problem, a $98 billion problem.

Just 18 months ago, Apple's $46 billion mountain of cash - while huge by most standards - attracted only muted complaints from investors, who did call for a dividend or share buyback, but were mostly happy with the meteoric rise in the stock price.

But with the growing cash balance now a much bigger overhang on the stock, widely considered to be undervalued, investors are clamoring more vocally for Cook to put the money to work.



It's a nice problem to have, but, with interest rates so low, $98 Billion is not earning so much interest.

How about these for ideas.

1. Reduce the price of their products - clearly, they are making too much from the sale of each device.

2. Invest in or buy other busineses - potentially, that could give a far greater return in the long term.

3. Send me the money - that way, my trip to the sunny beach would be doable.

What would you do?
1:02 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well I have an idea. They could use the money to improve the working conditions and wages of those who make the products.

That's quite appalling - earning a load of money and not knowing what to do with it, while those who manufacture the products threaten to jump from buildings because of the bad working conditions.

One more reason not to buy Apple products.
1:13 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Invest in emerging markets like India. No time like the present. The gap is narrowing fast between mobile penetration and internet penetration. Reliance Industries has a country-wide license for 4G internet and in less than two years time internet will be cheaper than water here.

Start an Angel investing fund to encourage innovation, preferably sector-agnostic. There's a lot of talent in America. Facebook, Twitter and Google are all from the US. I see people on forums who seem obviously talented compromising on hosting quality to save a few dollars. Give some funding generously and without red tape, on an organized large scale. We can't all create huge companies but there will be some value addition and a huge net gain.

Indulge in some philanthropy in health and education, specially.
2:36 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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196,000 chicks at the same time.
3:46 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Create jobs.

Marshall
6:19 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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196,000 chicks at the same time, in an Olympic sized pool of pudding.
8:16 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well I have an idea. They could use the money to improve the working conditions and wages of those who make the products.
Don't be crazy. Companies don't do that.
9:46 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Don't be crazy. Companies don't do that.

The day I can't pay my employees decent wages anymore is the day I will close down and go out of business.
11:43 pm on Jan 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hm, the topic header made me think of a Depression-era quote.

"I, Joan Crawford, believe in the dollar. Every dollar I earn, I spend."

Now try to get through an entire week without buying one single product made in China. Good luck.
3:30 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Now try to get through an entire week without buying one single product made in China. Good luck.


That reminds of when I was in a huge sports store in Phoenix in the mid 90s and everything seemed to be made in China. I asked an assistant if they had anything made in the USA, he thought about it for a couple of minutes and then said "Yes, this" and handed me a wooden basball bat!

I bought it and still have it in my office:-)
6:24 pm on Jan 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I asked an assistant if they had anything made in the USA, he thought about it for a couple of minutes and then said "Yes, this" and handed me a wooden basball bat!


Is it a Louisville Slugger? :)
9:13 am on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Purchase Amazon, and still have $10Billion in cash in reserves.
9:38 am on Jan 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If you do not know what to do with cash, you SHOULD pay it out to the shareholders, who can then find other investments for themselves.
5:27 am on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There's been a lot of talk about U.S. infrastructure improvements & rebuilding, including a grid for high speed internet access, not now available everywhere. An investment like that would be good for the economy and create jobs.

Now, the state of Indiana is rebuilding an interstate highway, with the work being contracted to an out of country company. By keeping a grid an "insourcing" project, Apple could set a good example for other corporations in a similar position.

Another thing would be to build some new plants and develop lots of much-needed jobs here instead of outsourcing, like is currently being done to a degree.
5:46 am on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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>infrastructure improvements

That's what I was thinking.

Also research, reducing power consumption of their products would be an admirable goal and creates the kind of high-tech jobs suited to the U.S.
12:07 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hello Marcia. :)
2:16 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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That's quite appalling - earning a load of money and not knowing what to do with it, while those who manufacture the products threaten to jump from buildings because of the bad working conditions.


Those workers get paid better at Apple than they do anywhere else in that general area. They don't kill themselves because the work is so awful, they do it because the life insurance payout is like hitting the lottery for their poor family. I guess you could pay them more but you're already paying them more than anyone else is.

What they could do is use that money to become a data carrier. Then they'll really have control of the market, right now they still need carriers/ISP's to be nice and not cap data.
6:12 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I vote dividend! (but I might be biased)
3:51 pm on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What they could do is use that money to become a data carrier. Then they'll really have control of the market, right now they still need carriers/ISP's to be nice and not cap data.

That would be a smart move.
10:33 pm on Feb 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What to do with $98 billion in cash?

Whatever you've been doing.
4:17 pm on Feb 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a crazy lot, but money can go fast. See Nokia... The priorities (to keep making money) must be:

- motiviate your employees to inovate
- invest in education
- invest in protection of what you have (buy competitors?)
- keep the brains in the company, get more brains and better hands...

Sounds like a RPG basic problem :-)

P!
1:02 am on Feb 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.


Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens.


[nytimes.com ]

'Nuff said.
5:03 am on Feb 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hire Simspon and Mayo, who ran GEC/Marconi.

British people will remember what happened.d It certainly got rid of the cash pile (much smaller, but it was billions).
6:25 am on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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...196,000 chicks at the same time...


Or, just one really, REALLY BIG CHICK.



Note to women on this board: I am NOT really a misogynist in real life. Just that this was a very funny line from the TV show Rescue Me (which actually kind of IS a really misogynistic television show).
3:51 pm on Feb 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I guess you could pay them more but you're already paying them more than anyone else is.


Yes, I am sure the phrase "Think we're Bad? Other companies REALLY hose their employees" is going to be a great marketing slogan. ;)
 

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