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15 Companies with Zero Debt - Q2 2010

15 Companies with Zero Debt

Throughout the financial crisis, large debt loads weighed on company balance sheets and had serious implications for firms that let their borrowing get out of control. Other companies, however, have a history of operating with low debt levels, and many choose to issue no debt at all. Instead of debt, these companies hold cash and liquid investments in order to make acquisitions, investments and to run daily operations. Although too much debt can quickly turn into a problem, zero debt does not al
Photo: Shutterstock || YTD performance is as of market close on 7/20/10.

Throughout the financial crisis, large debt loads weighed on company balance sheets and had serious implications for the firms that let their borrowing get out of control.

Other companies, however, have a history of operating with low debt levels, and many choose to issue no debt at all. Instead of debt, these companies hold cash and liquid investments in order to make acquisitions, investments and to run daily operations.

Although too much debt can quickly turn into a problem, zero debt does not always translate to a rising stock price, as you can see from the historical data provided in the following pages. Regardless, some companies have been successful in turning their zero-debt situation into a very favorable operating model.

With data from Capital IQ drawn from the most recent quarterly statements across the S&P 500, here are 15 companies that report having no debt on their balance sheets.

By Giovanny Moreano & Paul Toscano
Posted 21 July 2010

Note: Companies are ranked by the amount of cash and short term investments held on their balance sheets. In this case, total debt includes the sum of short-term borrowings, current portion of long-term debt, current portion of capital leases, long-term debt, capital leases, current finance division debt and non-current finance division debt, but does not include all possible liabilities.

15. Novell Inc (NOVL)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $979.6 million YTD stock price performance: +48.67% 2007: $600 million total debt, +10.81% stock performance 2008: $126 million total debt, -43.38% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +6.68% stock performance
Photo: Cool Caesar || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 6/8/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $979.6 million
YTD stock price performance: +48.67%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $600m total debt, +10.81% share price 
2008: $126m total debt, -43.38% share price 
2009: $0 total debt, +6.68% share price 

See NOVL Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

14. Expeditors Int’l of Washington (EXPD)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.042 billion YTD stock price performance: +14.84% 2007: $0 total debt, +10.32% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -25.54% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +4.51% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 5/7/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.042 billion
YTD stock price performance: +14.84%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +10.32% share price 
2008: $0 total debt, -25.54% share price 
2009: $0 total debt, +4.51% share price 

See EXPD Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

13. Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.059 billion YTD stock price performance: +4.76% 2007: $0 total debt, +22.99% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -60.51% stock performance 2009: $52 million total debt, +29.31% stock performance
Photo: Autodesk.com || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 6/4/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.059 billion
YTD stock price performance: +4.76%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +22.99% share price 
2008: $0 total debt, -60.51% share price 
2009: $52m total debt, +29.31% share price

See ADSK Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

12. Cognizant Tech Solutions (CTSH)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.433 billion YTD stock price performance: +20.14% 2007: $0 total debt, -12.03% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -46.79% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +151% stock performance
Photo: iStock || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 5/7/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.433 billion YTD stock price performance: +20.14%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -12.03% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -46.79% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +151% share price

See CTSH Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

11. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.644 billion YTD stock price performance: -2.56% 2007: $0 total debt, -22.86% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -13.51% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +51.89% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 7/7/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.644 billion
YTD stock price performance: -2.56%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -22.86% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -13.51% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +51.89% share price

See BBBY Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

10. Electronic Arts (ERTS)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.996 billion YTD stock price performance: -13.46% 2007: $0 total debt, +15.98% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -72.54% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +10.66% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images ||  2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 2/9/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.996 billion
YTD stock price performance: -13.46%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +15.98% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -72.54% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +10.66% share price

See ERTS Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

9. Broadcom Corp (BRCM)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.044 billion YTD stock price performance: +17.32% 2007: $0 total debt, -19.10% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -35.08% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +85.44% stock performance
Photo: Broadcom.com || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 4/27/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.044 billion
YTD stock price performance: +17.32%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -19.10% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -35.08% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +85.44% share price

See BRCM Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

8. Juniper Networks (JNPR)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.317 billion YTD stock price performance: +0.07% 2007: $400 million total debt, +75.29% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -47.26% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +52.31% stock performance
Photo: Juniper.net  || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 5/5/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.317 billion
YTD stock price performance: +0.07%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $400 million total debt, +75.29% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -47.26% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +52.31% share price

See JNPR Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

7. Gap Inc. (GPS)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.481 billion YTD stock price performance: -11.79% 2007: $513 million total debt, +9.13% stock performance 2008: $188 million total debt, -37.08% stock performance 2009: $50 total debt, +56.46% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 6/8/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.481 billion
YTD stock price performance: -11.79%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $513 million total debt, +9.13% share price
2008: $188 million total debt, -37.08% share price
2009: $50 total debt, +56.46% share price

See GPS Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

6. Texas Instruments (TXN)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.305 billion YTD stock price performance: -4.95% 2007: $0 total debt, +15.97% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -53.53% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +67.91% stock performance
Photo: AP || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 7/19/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.305 billion
YTD stock price performance: -4.95%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +15.97% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -53.53% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +67.91% share price

See TXN Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

5. Celgene Corp (CELG)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.952 billion YTD stock price performance: -6.50% 2007: $219 million total debt, -19.68% stock performance 2008: $26 million total debt, +19.63% stock performance 2009: $25 million total debt, +0.72% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 5/3/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.952 billion
YTD stock price performance: -6.50%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $219m total debt, -19.68% share price 
2008: $26m total debt, +19.63% share price 
2009: $25m total debt, +0.72% share price

See CELG Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

4. Forest Laboratories (FRX)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $3.322 billion YTD stock price performance: -12.49% 2007: $0 total debt, -27.96% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -30.12% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +26.07% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 2/9/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $3.322 billion
YTD stock price performance: -12.49%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -27.96% share price 
2008: $0 total debt, -30.12% share price 
2009: $0 total debt, +26.07% share price 

See FRX Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

3. eBay (EBAY)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $4.528 billion YTD stock price performance: -11.64% 2007: $ 200 million total debt, +10.38% stock performance 2008: $1billion total debt, -57.94% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +68.55% stock performance
Photo: eBay.com || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 4/28/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $4.528 billion
YTD stock price performance: -11.64%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $200m total debt, +10.4% share price 
2008: $1b total debt, -57.94% share price 
2009: $0 total debt, +68.55% share price 
See EBAY Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

2. Apple (AAPL)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $23.155 billion YTD stock price performance: 19.53% 2007: $0 total debt, +133.47% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -56.91% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +146.90% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 4/21/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $23.155 billion
YTD stock price performance: 19.53%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +133.47% share price 
2008: $0 total debt, -56.91% share price 
2009: $0 total debt, +146.90% share price 

See AAPL Real-Time Quote and Full Financials

1. Google (GOOG)

Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $30.059 billion YTD stock price performance: -22.32% 2007: $0 total debt, +50.17% stock performance 2008: $0 total debt, -55.51% stock performance 2009: $0 total debt, +101.52% stock performance
Photo: Getty Images || 2010 total debt and investments according to 10-Q filing on 7/15/10

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $30.059 billion
YTD stock price performance: -22.32%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +50.17% share price 
2008: $0 total debt, -55.51% share price 
2009: $0 total debt, +101.52% share price 

See GOOG Real-Time Quote and Full Financials