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The Biggest Cash Holdings in the S&P 500

The Most Cash-Rich Companies
Corporations hold large amounts of cash for a variety of reasons, including speculation on the price of assets, corporate acquisitions, future investments or even as a precaution against market uncertainty. If a company holds more cash or highly liquid assets as a large proportion of their total assets and relative to their peers, investors can draw insight into the size and scope of a company’s future investments. Keep in mind that some industries by their nature will have much more hard assets
Photo: Mike Kemp

Corporations hold large amounts of cash for a variety of reasons, including speculation on the price of assets, corporate acquisitions, future investments or even as a precaution against market uncertainty.

If a company holds more cash or highly liquid assets as a large proportion of their total assets and relative to their peers, investors can draw insight into the size and scope of a company’s future investments. Keep in mind that some industries by their nature will have much more hard assets than others, such as utilities, for example.

To get an idea of the companies that are holding the most cash, CNBC.com did an analysis of cash and short term, highly-liquid investments held by S&P 500 companies as a ratio of total assets, using data from Capital IQ. Financial companies are excluded from this list since they inherently hold large amounts of cash.

For the purpose of this slideshow, “liquid assets” are defined as total cash and short term investments held by an individual company.

So, which S&P 500 companies are the most cash-rich? Click ahead to find out!

By Giovanny Moreano & Paul Toscano
Posted 1 July 2010

15. Cisco Systems (CSCO)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 49.3% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 103.6% Total cash & short term investments: $39.11 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 49.3%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 103.6%
Total cash & short term investments: $39.11 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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14. Celgene Corp (CELG)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 49.4% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 102.7% Total cash & short term investments: $2.95 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 17.52% Total liquid assets: $3.25 billion Note: Celgene recently announced a deal to . Cash holdings presented here are reported prior to the announcement of this deal.
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 49.4%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 102.7%
Total cash & short term investments: $2.95 billion

Sector averages: Health Care
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 17.52%
Total liquid assets: $3.25 billion

Note: Celgene recently announced a deal to buy Abraxis for $2.9 billion in cash and stock. Cash holdings presented here are reported prior to the announcement of this deal.

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13. QLogic Corp (QLGC)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 50%Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 68.4% Total cash & short term investments: $375.7 million Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: QLogic.com

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 50%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 68.4%
Total cash & short term investments: $375.7 million

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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12. Forest Laboratories (FRX)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 53.4% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 79.9% Total cash & short term investments: $3.32 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 17.52% Total liquid assets: $3.25 billion
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 53.4%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 79.9%
Total cash & short term investments: $3.32 billion

Sector averages: Health Care
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 17.52%
Total liquid assets: $3.25 billion

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11. Novell Inc. (NOVL)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 54% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 116.9% Total cash & short term investments: $979.6 million Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 54%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 116.9%
Total cash & short term investments: $979.6 million

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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10. Tellabs Inc. (TLAB)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 54.2% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 91.95% Total cash & short term investments: $1.42 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: CoolCaesar

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 54.2%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 91.95%
Total cash & short term investments: $1.42 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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9. Priceline.com (PLCN)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 56.1% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 50.22% Total cash & short term investments: $1.24 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 14.44% Total liquid assets: $1.74 billion
Photo: Priceline.com

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 56.1%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 50.22%
Total cash & short term investments: $1.24 billion

Sector averages: Consumer Discretionary
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 14.44%
Total liquid assets: $1.74 billion

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8. Humana (HUM)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 56.4% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 27.1% Total cash & short term investments: $8.58 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 17.52% Total liquid assets: $3.25 billion
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 56.4%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 27.1%
Total cash & short term investments: $8.58 billion

Sector averages: Health Care
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 17.52%
Total liquid assets: $3.25 billion

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7. Lorillard Inc. (LO)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 57.2% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 43.2% Total cash & short term investments: $1.66 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 8.77% Total liquid assets: $1.596 billion
Photo: Chris Stein | Stone | Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 57.2%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 43.2%
Total cash & short term investments: $1.66 billion

Sector averages: Consumer Staples
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 8.77%
Total liquid assets: $1.596 billion

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6. NetApp Inc. (NTAP)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 57.3% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 94.7% Total cash & short term investments: $3.72 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: NetApp

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 57.3%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 94.7%
Total cash & short term investments: $3.72 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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5. Analog Devices (ADI)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 60.8% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 102.2% Total cash & short term investments: $2.39 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: cesweb.org

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 60.8%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 102.2%
Total cash & short term investments: $2.39 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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4. Google Inc. (GOOG)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 61.8% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 106.4% Total cash & short term investments: $26.51 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 61.8%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 106.4%
Total cash & short term investments: $26.51 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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3. VeriSign Inc. (VRSN)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 62.2% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 148.9% Total cash & short term investments: $1.55 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: Gabriel Bouys | AFP | Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 62.2%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 148.9%
Total cash & short term investments: $1.55 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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2. Linear Technology Corp. (LLTC)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 63.3% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 101% Total cash & short term investments: $1.02 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: Mitch Hrdlicka | Photodisc | Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 63.3%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 101%
Total cash & short term investments: $1.02 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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1. Altera Corp. (ALTR)
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 65.9% Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 130.4% Total cash & short term investments: $1.74 billion Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74% Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion
Photo: Getty Images

Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 65.9%
Liquid assets (as % of total revenue): 130.4%
Total cash & short term investments: $1.74 billion

Sector averages: Information Technology
Liquid assets (as % of total assets): 31.74%
Total liquid assets: $4.33 billion

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