Surging corporate profit is creating a good problem for companies and their investors: A growing pile of cash.
Nine companies in the Standard & Poor's 500, including home security firm ADT, biotech Gilead Sciences and financial software company Intuit, saw their cash piles grow by 10% in the first calendar quarter while generating astounding free cash flow margins, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ.
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These aren't the same companies with the biggest piles of cash, necessarily. Cash piles at Apple are already well-known. These are companies that have businesses that make them conductive to generating free cash at a rapid clip.
Only companies generating $25 in cash from operations, even after paying costs to maintain and upgrade equipment, from every $100 in revenue the past twelve months were included. This step weeds out companies that saw big increases in cash simply by borrowing or selling units alone, and limits the list to companies that are practically minting cash.