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Google Overtakes Apple to Become Most Cash-Rich Company

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Google parent company Alphabet has overtaken Apple to become the world's most cash-rich company, reports The Financial Times this morning.


According to the FT, Apple's cash hoard has fallen to $102 billion, down from a peak of $163 billion at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, Alphabet's $117 billion cash reserve has risen by almost $20 billion over the same period.

However, as FT notes, Alphabet's new title as "king of cash" may be somewhat of a poisoned chalice, as it could antagonize investors who would rather see the cash being used to reward shareholders with buybacks or dividends.

The leadership switch is said to be a result of Apple's own efforts to reduce its liquidity, by taking advantage of US tax reforms to repatriate overseas reserves and pay out to investors. The company has spent $122 billion on buying back stock and paying dividends in the past 18 months.
Alphabet's stock buybacks, by contrast, have been paltry. In the nearly four years since it began repurchasing its own stock, it has spent an average of only $1.7bn a quarter.

In that time, it has handed out more new shares in the form of employee stock benefits than it has bought back through its repurchase programme. As a result, the payments have done nothing to lift its earnings per share -- the reason investors generally welcome buybacks.
Alphabet's new cash-rich status also comes at a time when it is under more intensive scrutiny than ever before. Google and its parent company have received over $9 billion in antitrust fines by the EU in the past two years. It is now facing a new antitrust investigation by the Justice Department.

Alphabet's cash reserves have actually increased despite the parent company's heavy investment in real estate for new office builds and data centers, which will form part of the infrastructure supporting Google's increasing AI endeavors.

In terms of most valuable company on the planet, Apple has been overtaken by both Amazon and Microsoft, with the latter now taking that particular crown. Microsoft is now worth nearly $1.1 trillion, after soaring on the back of optimism about its cloud business.


Article Link: Google Overtakes Apple to Become Most Cash-Rich Company
 
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fourthtunz

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Jul 23, 2002
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Apple becoming the most valuable company was a surprise. Made more sense to me that it would be one of the companies that dominate a field, like Exxon, Amazon, microsoft or google.
Apple is a great company but much more limited in its scope than the previous examples.
 
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akbarali.ch

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May 4, 2011
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They spent a huge load of money to buy back the ownership they distributed via stocks. Thats neat and smart. They are very less likely to use any significant portion of the huge pile of cash they have, which means keep paying dividens for just keeping the money in the vault. Thats stupid. So what you do? Buy back the ownership, so they get to share less.
 
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nikusak

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Feb 11, 2014
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Apple becoming the most valuable company was a surprise. Made more sense to me that it would be one of the companies that dominate a field, like Exxon, Amazon, microsoft or google.
Apple is a great company but much more limited in its scope than the previous examples.
Hmm, which field Amazon dominates?

Their share of US online retail is about 50% and about 20% in Europe. Do they even operate in China and India?

Apple ecosystem has about one billion high income users.

It’s no wonder at all that Apple is even now valued at close to $1 trillion, second after Microsoft. Amazon is third again.
 
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kis

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Oh well. Considering that google’s business model is exploiting people’s privacy and selling their (sometimes) anonymized data to insurance companies etc to make their customers’ lives a living hell in many instances, I’d say: let them be rich. Sooner or later someone will make their evil disregard of basic human rights illegal. And they won’t be rich much longer after that.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
The ball that Steve Jobs knocked way out of the park is beginning to slow its roll. And Tim Cook doesn’t have what it takes to push it further along.
What? Jobs laid a great foundation. That is without question. But trying to downplay what Cook has done seems silly. The numbers don't lie. Since this topic is about the numbers, there's no numbers comparison where Cook does not outshine Jobs. Jobs chose Cook for a reason. The results say he chose correctly

Remember, Apple lost the cash lead by choice. They spent money paying dividends and buying back stock.
 
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nikusak

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Feb 11, 2014
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The ball that Steve Jobs knocked way out of the park is beginning to slow its roll. And Tim Cook doesn’t have what it takes to push it further along.
Apple’s market cap has tripled since Jobs died.

Cook has done a good job - despite not being a product visionary like Jobs was.

People seem to expect Apple to do 2007 all over again every year, i.e. release a product that turns an existing industry upside down every single year.

Apparently it’s other companies who are doing this now. I just can’t think of any examples of anyone releasing anything like Apple Watch or AirPods over the last few years.

Oh well, perhaps voice assistants (also known as cooking timers)? But the thing is that neither Google or Amazon is making any money with them.
 
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LovingTeddy

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Oh well. Considering that google’s business model is exploiting people’s privacy and selling their (sometimes) anonymized data to insurance companies etc to make their customers’ lives a living hell in many instances, I’d say: let them be rich. Sooner or later someone will make their evil disregard of basic human rights illegal. And they won’t be rich much longer after that.

I am using Google service daily, I don’t feel that I am living in hell. I feel Google’s product made my life easier.
 
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Delgibbons

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Dec 14, 2016
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Of course Google will. With all those privacy issues so they can be paid more for target advertising. I mean it’s a fast earning industry. ‍♀️

All the privacy issues Google discover about Apple, you mean?

Google discovers fistful of flaws in Apple's iMessages app-
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/technology-49165946

"
In one case, the researchers said the vulnerability was so severe that the only way to rescue a targeted iPhone would be to delete all the data off it .

Another example, they said, could be used to copy files off a device without requiring the owner to do anything to aid the hack .

Apple released fixes last week.

But the researchers said they had also flagged a sixth problem to Apple, which had not been rectified in the update to its mobile operating system."
 
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riverfreak

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
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Hmm, which field Amazon dominates?

Their share of US online retail is about 50% and about 20% in Europe. Do they even operate in China and India?

Apple ecosystem has about one billion high income users.

It’s no wonder at all that Apple is even now valued at close to $1 trillion, second after Microsoft. Amazon is third again.

Surely you jest right?

How about the cloud? Amazon will eventually spin off AWS to keep regulators off their back. That alone could easily become the most valuable company in the world.

They are crushing retail in the US. 50% share isn’t dominating? It’s only going higher.

And Alexa, coupled with their deep knowledge about you, will end branding, packaging, marketing as we know it, let alone medical care, insurance, and any number of other areas.

Amazon’s moves into healthcare is already sending shockwaves through the industry and all they’ve really done so far is acquire one company.

Their AI endeavors are leagues beyond anyone else. A six month lead might as well be sixty years.
 
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uniquexoxo

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All the privacy issues Google discover about Apple, you mean?

Google discovers fistful of flaws in Apple's iMessages app-
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/technology-49165946

"
In one case, the researchers said the vulnerability was so severe that the only way to rescue a targeted iPhone would be to delete all the data off it .

Another example, they said, could be used to copy files off a device without requiring the owner to do anything to aid the hack .

Apple released fixes last week.

But the researchers said they had also flagged a sixth problem to Apple, which had not been rectified in the update to its mobile operating system."

No I meant Google. You don’t know how to read?

 
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brendu

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Apple ecosystem has about one billion high income users.

pretty sure Apple has nowhere near that many users. They may have sold a billion devices but many people own more than one and almost all of them are repeat purchasers. Apple probably has less than half a billion active users (which is still wild when you think 1/15 people on earth actively use an Apple device)
 
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PickUrPoison

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pretty sure Apple has nowhere near that many users. They may have sold a billion devices but many people own more than one and almost all of them are repeat purchasers. Apple probably has less than half a billion active users (which is still wild when you think 1/15 people on earth actively use an Apple device)
500 million? Probably not that low, unless you think every user has 3 active devices.
 
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Justanotherfanboy

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Jul 3, 2018
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The ball that Steve Jobs knocked way out of the park is beginning to slow its roll. And Tim Cook doesn’t have what it takes to push it further along.


.....is a SUPER rando opinion, that has absolutely nothing to do with anything written in this article.

Were you actually meaning to write:
“I love peanut butter... can you swim?”, because that would make a lot more sense, in this context.
 
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brendu

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500 million? Probably not that low, unless you think every user has 3 active devices.

you’re right. It’s probably closer to 700,000 or so. I do believe a very large number of Apple users have more than one device, there are also thousands of users who have several devices. I currently have an iMac (2007), MacBook (2009) iPad Air 2, iPad 2018, iPhone 7, and two Apple TV’s that are all in regular use. People like me offset about 6-8 single device owners.
 
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Justanotherfanboy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 3, 2018
813
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pretty sure Apple has nowhere near that many users. They may have sold a billion devices but many people own more than one and almost all of them are repeat purchasers. Apple probably has less than half a billion active users (which is still wild when you think 1/15 people on earth actively use an Apple device)

Lol, they aren’t conflating numbers, you’re just confused with what’s being claimed.
You think they said: “we’ve sold 1 billion iOS devices” and are trying to make it mean “there’s 1 billion different people using iOS devices”.
Where in actuality: well over 2 billion iOS devices have been sold, all Apple said was: “1.4 billion iOS devices are currently active”.
[doublepost=1564663698][/doublepost]
you’re right. It’s probably closer to 700,000 or so. I do believe a very large number of Apple users have more than one device, there are also thousands of users who have several devices. I currently have an iMac (2007), MacBook (2009) iPad Air 2, iPad 2018, iPhone 7, and two Apple TV’s that are all in regular use. People like me offset about 6-8 single device owners.

Where'd you get an iMac & a MacBook that run iOS???? Sounds crazy.
 
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nikusak

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2014
176
311
pretty sure Apple has nowhere near that many users. They may have sold a billion devices but many people own more than one and almost all of them are repeat purchasers. Apple probably has less than half a billion active users (which is still wild when you think 1/15 people on earth actively use an Apple device)
Over 900 hundred million “active iPhones” according to Tim Cook in the beginning of 2019. He can’t lie about a figure like that.

Sure, some people have multiple iPhones, but add iPads and Macs and one billion is not far off the mark.
 
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