Today, during Apple’s earnings call for its Q4 numbers, Apple’s Tim Cook revealed that 2/3 of Apple’s cash was off shore, which means that $54B of Apple’s $81B in cash on hand isn’t in the US.
In regards to his philosophy about what to do with that cash, Cook said “I’m not religious about holding it or not holding it. I’m religious about a lot of things, but not that.”
Apple’s giant cash hoard, which dwarfs most other tech companies, has long been the subject of speculation about what it might do with it. Some say that acquisitions or dividends are the best course of action and others point towards a dramatic investment like the purchase of its own carrier are a good use.
“We’ve also taken money and done things that are in Apple’s best interest,” said Cook, “we’ve acquired companies, acquired IP, invested in the supply chain and invested in our stores.”
When asked whether he believed that buying back shares would be a good way to spend its money, Cook said that “ I don’t think anyone would say we’re not able to create value through innovation,” referring to giving value to shareholders. He also said that “We’ve got a pipeline that’s unbelievable,” referencing Apple’s future product lines, up to 4 years of which former CEO Steve Jobs is said to have had a hand in.