10 Companies with the Largest Piles of Cash on Hand
Looking at the cash balances of some of the top corporations in the world it can be astounding to find out the real amount of money that companies are sitting on. Some companies have so much money on hand that they surpass the annual economic activity of some countries. Here are the top ten companies that are sitting on the largest piles of cash.
Chevron; Cash Balance-$43 Billion
Selling gas and oil is an extremely profitable business. So profitable in fact that three of the gas and oil industry’s most successful companies are placed on this list. At last count, Chevron has about $43 billion in their bank, as well as at least $8 billion that they make in free cash flow every year, which means that their cash balance will continue to rise. The management of Chevron returns some of its cash balance to shareholders, and the annual dividend has risen steadily over the past couple of years.
Google; Cash Balance-$44 Billion
The management at Google has a firm belief that to be successful, it is crucial to chase after a large variety of ideas and hope that at least one or two will pay off. It has since Google is sitting on over $44 billion. Google uses its hefty liquid cash to generate more income by investing in ideas they believe will be successful.
ConocoPhillips; Cash Balance-$45 Billion
ConocoPhillips is another oil giant that has made it on this list with a very impressive $45 billion. However, unlike other oil companies, ConocoPhillips has the majority of its cash piles tied up in a variety of ventures stretching across fifteen different countries. The oil giant has also been able to use their cash balance to offer their investors a large dividend yield.
Ford Motor; Cash Balance-$51 Billion
Only a couple of years after the crushing industry collapse Ford made a very surprising entry on the list of cash-rich companies. Ford uses its ample cash supply to fund their many internal investments and uses about $4 billion a year on capital expenditures. Ford has also begun to pay more attention to their dividend, as they hope to substantially increase its annual payout. Ford may also use their cash balance to purchase back large portions of their stock because their share price is still low.
ExxonMobil; Cash Balance- $52 Billion
Another oil giant that made it on this list. They used a large chunk of their money ($40 billion to be exact) to buy XTO Energy, which is a leading natural gas producer. However, this turned out to not be a savvy move as shortly after purchasing the company in 2009, the gas prices crashed. Fortunately, ExxonMobil has been far more successful in its stock buybacks, which has helped substantially in making up for its acquisition mistake. ExxonMobil will most likely use its cash balance for more buybacks, which will result in a big payout.
Cisco Systems; Cash Balance- $56 Billion
Cisco is similar to many other technology companies in that their payouts are very low. This may be because Cisco focuses more on buybacks and acquisitions. Cisco is known for making more acquisitions than any other company in the nation for the past decade and a half. Cisco is also known for being one of the top companies as far as stock buybacks are concerned. Since 2004 they have re-acquired about 1.6 billion of their shares. Despite this, Cisco still has $56 billion in the bank, and so may use this money on even more acquisitions.
Microsoft; Cash Balance- $73 Billion
Microsoft has altered its strategy throughout the years to become much less gun-shy about making deals than they have been in the past. Microsoft purchased Skype a couple of years ago for a hefty $8.5 billion, which has increased its revenue substantially. The successful deal may just encourage Microsoft to continue to make such lucrative buys in the future, and they certainly have the money to do so with a cool $73 billion in the bank. Microsoft is currently looking at small but extremely promising technology companies to buy up.
Apple; Cash Balance-$117 Billion
Apple is known as one of the most profitable companies in the world. However, their profit growth was extremely rapid and so didn’t leave them much time to use the cash they were making, leaving a whopping $117 billion in their bank. Apple doesn’t seem to be interested in spending its money on any serious acquisitions at the moment, as they create all the products they need on its own and are extremely successful. Apple spends about $2.5 billion a year to research and develop its new products such as the iPhone and the IPad.
GE; Cash Balance-$122 Billion
GE has a serious amount of cash in the bank, which has allowed them to make several major acquisitions that have bolstered its presence in many industries including healthcare, power production equipment, finance, and aerospace. Over the past couple of years, GE hasn’t made any major acquisitions but that doesn’t mean they won’t spend some of their cash on it in the future. GE may also use some of its cash to turn its attention to its dividend, which has decreased significantly over the past couple of years to a measly $0.68.
Berkshire Hathaway; Cash Balance-$162 Billion
Berkshire Hathaway isn’t exactly a household name, however, it is a company whose cash balance is about the size of Pakistan’s entire economy. Berkshire Hathaway is an insurance company and so it has good reason to keep that kind of cash around—they need it to keep up with the payouts they must make to people who claim the benefits on their policy. Despite this, Berkshire Hathaway finds room to spend some of their money on acquiring cash-cow businesses. Just recently, Berkshire purchased the company Burlington Northern as well as Lubrizol. Berkshire also holds major stakes in American Express and Coca-Cola.