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Apple Business Review: Cash Growth

Apple’s cash continues to grow.  This quarter it reached $41.7 billion, a sequential increase of $1.9 billion.  This time last year, the cash was about $29 billion with a y/y increase of nearly $13 billion.  This is equivalent to $45.19 per share.

Many financial sites  report this figure incorrectly (e.g Yahoo finance with $24.8 billion) and are often cited by journalists.  This error is because Apple holds much of its cash in “Long-term marketable securities” and some choose to report only “short-term” holdings as cash.  Apple’s “Long-term” securities are the same as their “short-term” securities, namely US Treasury bonds.  The distinction is in the maturation date, not their liquidity.  Apple makes a clear statement of their cash position every quarter and highlights the composition of their holdings.

Note that more than one third of cash is currently in Long-term securities and exclusion of that item would indicate a decrease in Apple’s cash.

Note also that cash grows in a seasonal pattern. Q1 is typically the lowest growth, and Q4 the fastest.

The graph below shows Apple’s cash by security.