The 10 American Companies With the Most Cash

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As the U.S. economy starts to shut down, cash is king. It is obvious how important this is when airlines need billions of dollars of aid from the government. American aviation giant Boeing is another example. It needs a government bailout to stay in business. Many retailers have been nearly wrecked as their sales have cratered and their balance sheets are weak.

However, 10 public corporations have a tremendous amount of cash on their balance sheets. In some cases, those cash piles are growing.

Some other companies have cut dividends to preserve cash. Even public corporations with huge cash reserves need to save it. The most visible cut is at Ford. It chopped a dividend that was resumed after the Great Recession. The cut was not enough to satisfy credit agency analysts. S&P Global Ratings lowered Ford’s debt into junk levels, a new grade of BB+. Its analysts said the agency might not be done with downgrades. The reason for the action was that Ford might consume as much as $8 billion of its $37.7 billion over the next year.

Factset said late last year that the following companies had the most cash on hand.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT): $136.6 billion. Its sales and cash contribution are increasing as sales of its cloud-based Azure products continue to grow. Its business software is ubiquitous on services and PCs. And its more recent success in hardware means it will continue to add cash to its balance sheet. In its most recently reported quarter, revenue was $36.9 billion, up 14% from a year earlier. Net income was $11.6 billion, up 38%.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-B): $128.2 billion. The most multilegged large company in America, it has both dozens of operating companies and investment positions in dozens of others. Helmed by the world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway had earnings of $29.2 billion last quarter. Buffett has been criticized for not making more acquisitions with the money.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL): $121.2 billion. The Google division of the company is one of the most successful businesses in the world. It leads search engine market share in every large nation in the world, with the exception of China and Russia. This extraordinary lead position means it dominates these markets in terms of advertising revenue. In the most recent quarter, Alphabet had revenue of $39 billion, on which it had $9 billion in net income. The net cash from operating activities was $14.4 billion.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): $106.0 billion. Apple’s net cash from operating income was $30 billion last quarter. It is added to its cash hoard at an extraordinary rate. Sales of the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and services were all up in the quarter. Compared to what they sell for, Apple’s cost to manufacture these is modest. It is estimated that iPhone profits are 90% of all smartphone profits in the world.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB): $53.2 billion. This social media giant dominates the advertising world at nearly the same level as Google. Last year, Google had 36% of the U.S. ad market and Facebook had 19%. Facebook reports that the global pandemic has caused a surge in use by its members, which number 2.45 billion. As COVID-19 spreads, this will go even higher. Facebook’s revenue was $21 billion in the most recent quarter. Its net income was $7.3 billion, and net cash from operations was $9 billion. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): $43.7 billion. Amazon has built an empire that relies on the current success of several profitable businesses. The global pandemic has helped some of these. Amazon’s e-commerce business is the most successful in America and makes up over a third of all online sales. The company has the largest cloud computing business in the world, which companies and individuals will rely on more as they operate remotely. In the most recent quarter, Amazon had a net income of $3 billion on $72 billion in sales. It had an operating cash flow of $39 billion.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F): $37.3 billion. Ford is an outlier among America’s cash-rich companies. Car sales were battered so badly that its credit rating was cut. It is estimated Ford will eat thought $8 billion of its cash this year. If the pandemic significantly worsens, this number could be higher. Ford relies on China for much of its revenue, but car sales there have dropped due to the effects of COVID-19. The same is happening in the United States.

Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL): $35.7 billion. This is among the world’s largest providers of cloud computing. It is also the dominant presence in databases. Oracle is the world’s biggest supplier of business software. In its most recent quarter, it posted revenue of $9.8 billion, of which 70% was cloud services. Its net income was $2.6 billion. Net cash provided by operations was $9.5 billion in the quarter, which means its cash balance will grow rapidly, unless it draws down some for mergers or acquisitions.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO): $33.4 billion. Cisco dominates the router market, which is large both in the United States and internationally. The company had sales of $12 billion in the most recent quarter. Net income was $2.9 billion. Cisco does not just sell hardware. More than a quarter of its revenue comes from services. North America made up $7 billion of its revenue last quarter. Europe and the Middle East contributed $3 billion. Revenue from Asia was almost $2 billion. Net cash provided by operations was $7.4 billion.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY): $32.5 billion. The company is among the largest providers of pharmaceutical and biopharma products in the world. It has the advantage of product lines that spread into the hundreds and treat as many medical problems as any other company. Its revenue has grown steadily over the past four years. In the most recent quarter, it had revenue of $8 billion, up from $6 billion in the prior quarter. Net cash from operations was $8 billion last year.

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