Why it matters to you
Apple has enough money in the bank to facilitate even the most outlandish research and development projects, but the avenues it will pursue remain to be seen.
On Tuesday, Apple will submit its earnings report for the second quarter of 2017, and the company is expected to announce that its cash reserves exceed $250 billion. This enormous amount of money serves as a very reassuring safety net, but it’s thought that the announcement may prompt calls for Apple to invest more of its available resources.
As of the time of writing, there’s no firm confirmation that this figure is accurate. However, given that the company reported cash reserves of $246.1 billion in December 2016, it certainly stands to reasons that another $4 billion could have been added to its coffers since then.
Apple may delay spending too much of its reserves to see whether or not President Donald Trump will follow through on campaign promises that would allow money being held overseas to be brought back to the United States at a reduced tax rate, according to a report from 9to5Mac.
Rumors often circulate about major acquisitions Apple could make by utilizing its considerable war chest. In late 2016, the company apparently considered buying Time Warner before it was eventually sold to Charter Communications, and there are persistent reports that it might make a play to purchase Netflix, in an attempt to bolster its entertainment portfolio.
Apple got into the habit of keeping healthy cash reserves under the leadership of Steve Jobs. During the 1990s, the company’s financial situation got into such dire straits that it took a $150 million investment from Microsoft to keep the ship afloat.
Today, Apple is obviously in a much more advantageous financial situation. However, its massive reserves will prompt big questions about whether the cash should be pumped into research and development, or returned to shareholders. With more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in the bank, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see the company investing heavily into what’s coming next.