Print 90 comment(s) - last by lightfoot.. on Mar 3 at 12:43 PM

  (Source: Apple Gazette)
The company's $40B USD cash stockpile allows the company to "write a check for" "big, bold things"

Apple is currently sitting on a vast pile of cash -- an estimated $40B USD -- equal to about one fifth of its market capitalization.  That's a rarity in the business world to say the least; in fact just about no company in tech industry, other than perhaps Microsoft has that much cash sitting around.

In a recent annual meeting, Apple Chief Executive Officer Steven P. Jobs discussed Apple's fiscal fatness and why he feels it's a good thing.  Sporting his traditional  trademark blue jeans and black mock turtleneck top ensemble, the Cupertino head man says that Apple is unlikely to commit to dividends or stock buybacks that would surely please the holders of Apple stock, which currently is trading at over $200/share on an average daily volume of 25M shares traded daily.

Instead, the cash allows for big moves -- like the iPad.  He states, "We're a large enough business now, that in order to really move the needle, we've got to be thinking pretty bold, pretty large. And who knows what's around the next corner.  When we think about big, bold things, we know that if we needed to acquire something, a piece of the puzzle, to make something big and bold a reality, we could write a check for it."

Some might interpret his last sentence to refer to acquisitions, but Jobs primarily is referring to internal expenditures.  Apple's current rosy financial situation came thanks to enormous risky investments in super-products like the iPod and iPhone that when they first debuted were unlike anything else seen on the market.

Apple also specializes in small acquisitions, typically to gain experience in a field it's unfamiliar with.  Describes Broadpoint Amtech analyst Brian Marshall, "Their historical use of cash has worked obviously very well.  Doing small deals, buying private companies with 100 to 150 engineers and integrating them with the Cupertino establishment and then taking their technology and making it pervasive throughout the organization."

The outlook for Apple is rather promising for the next year.  The company looks to grow and expand in the key Chinese market, opening 25 new stores there next year.  Some analysts also think that despite some public jokes and criticism about the company's new iPad tablet, that the tablet-cum-e-book reader may sell between 2 million and 5 million units.  Next month will give the first glimpse of the public's interest when the Wi-Fi version of the iPad debuts.  Some may wait until April, when the 3G version lands.

Despite its tremendous cash pile and popular products, Apple does face some key risks.  Its soaring popularity and brand image have come at the cost of increased scrutiny, and recent quality issues have soured Apple's image for some.  Apple also faces difficulties with it's tradition of intense secrecy, a tradition that reportedly leads it to maintain an army of secret agents that spy on its workforce.  The company's secretive nature recently came under fire when a worker at one of Apple's Chinese suppliers died under suspicious circumstances after losing an iPhone prototype; and a recent incident in which security guards at a parts supplier beat a foreign correspondent didn't help things much either.

Probably the biggest threat it faces, though, is maintaining the momentum on its products.  When the iPhone and unibody MacBook Pro debuted they had hardware on par with their top of the line competitors and they enjoyed sleeker packaging -- keys to justifying the devices' price premium.  Now several phones beat the iPhone's hardware in various areas (and they have Flash, something Apple feels threatened by and refuses to support).  Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro's hardware, particularly its CPU and GPU selection, is looking increasingly stale.  That said, there will probably be a MacBook refresh coming very soon and another iPhone refresh this summer that will help remedy those shortcomings.

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RE: lol what...
By Brandon Hill on 2/26/2010 9:44:41 AM , Rating: 5
RE: lol what...
By Shig on 2/26/2010 9:52:05 AM , Rating: 2
I read a lot and have never seen that expression, learn something new everyday on the interwebzzzzz

RE: lol what...
By The0ne on 2/26/2010 10:00:17 AM , Rating: 2
It's hardly ever used in any literature because it doesn't fit in well with whatever your are writing about. I'm sure it was used here with good intention but I'm also pretty sure it may have been used with a agenda in mind.

RE: lol what...
By Shining Arcanine on 2/26/2010 10:01:16 AM , Rating: 2
Cum and agenda are both latin words.

RE: lol what...
By JasonMick on 2/26/2010 10:15:30 AM , Rating: 5
It's hardly ever used in any literature because it doesn't fit in well with whatever your are writing about. I'm sure it was used here with good intention but I'm also pretty sure it may have been used with a agenda in mind.

Thanks for the writing advice, I'll consider it very carefully...

RE: lol what...
By Anoxanmore on 2/26/2010 11:11:49 AM , Rating: 2
I was trying to think of a quote to use here... but you made me LOL IRL... so thanks for making my co-workers look at me funny Jason. :P

RE: lol what...
By JonnyDough on 2/26/2010 12:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
No offense, but if I had a dime for every grammatical error I read on DT I'd own Daily Tech. I hardly think its your place to point out errors Mick, I think you should just stick to writing blogs and appreciate reader feedback. Naturally, the teen-minded individuals that read this site will be quick to make jest of anything even remotely sexual.

RE: lol what...
By porkpie on 2/26/2010 12:30:19 PM , Rating: 5
"I hardly think its your place to point out errors Mick"

I have to side with Mick on this one. The one time it's ok to point out grammatical errors in web postings is in response to someone doing so to you...especially if they've made far more errors than did you.

RE: lol what...
By JonnyDough on 2/26/2010 12:34:55 PM , Rating: 1
The difference is that articles posted on a professional website ought to have editors or at the very least good peer review. A reader's comments can't be expected to be good. They're just a reader. I'm not siding with nitpicking, I'm just could bring up a slew of typos and spelling errors (not really typos since most of the authors these days use voice recog software to type, leading to part of the problem).

RE: lol what...
By porkpie on 2/26/2010 12:47:06 PM , Rating: 5
While Jason makes more than his share of grammatical errors, the point you miss is that the OP's was nitpicking something that was NOT an error.

RE: lol what...
By Anoxanmore on 2/26/2010 12:43:53 PM , Rating: 3
Except this isn't a professional website?

(IE why they link to news articles inside the article itself)

RE: lol what...
By p05esto on 2/27/2010 6:36:11 PM , Rating: 2
I hate morons who post about grammar mistakes more than anything in the world. Heck, I'd rather talk with a homosexual than a tard who thinks it's a good idea to post about a spelling mistakes. Please go away, never come back.

RE: lol what...
By DominionSeraph on 2/28/2010 2:07:40 AM , Rating: 2
I hate morons who post about grammar mistakes more than anything in the world.

Really? I've never met a person who posts about grammar mistakes more than anything in the world.

RE: lol what...
By bldckstark on 3/1/2010 2:24:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather be homosexual than have to listen to a tard talk about how much he hates reading posts about grammatical errors.

RE: lol what...
By Lifted on 2/26/2010 12:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh the irony. Those in glass houses...

Apple stock, which current is trading at over $200/share

Probably the biggest threat it faces, though is maintaining the momentum on its products.

RE: lol what...
By The0ne on 2/26/10, Rating: -1
RE: lol what...
By The0ne on 2/26/10, Rating: 0
RE: lol what...
By porkpie on 2/26/2010 1:00:44 PM , Rating: 5
"I write write technical, process and test reports daily..."

Oh, the delicious irony...

I'd be right behind you if you were actually pointing out real flaws in Jason's writing. However, you started this by attacking a perfectly valid and common usage. It's not Jason's fault if your limited reading experience led to you believe it's incorrect.

Now PLEASE...I'm getting a bit queasy from defending Jason. Don't make me do it again.

RE: lol what...
By dark matter on 3/1/2010 6:14:58 AM , Rating: 2
Well if you like that, you'll love where I live.


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