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15 Companies with Zero Debt

Debt-Free, Cash-Rich Companies

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 no
Data source: SEC Filings, Capital IQ and Thomson Reuters  || Photo: Shutterstock

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 short-term, highly liquid assets in order to make acquisitions and fund other investments in future growth.

According to the latest quarterly filings, only 22 companies in the S&P 500 reported having zero debt on their balance sheets. Of these companies, CNBC’s Analyst Giovanny Moreano selected the ones with the largest amount of cash and short-term investments as a percent of total assets. The average return for the top 15 firms in the past year stands at 15 percent, compared with a gain of 2 percent for the S&P 500.

So, which S&P 500 companies are debt free and cash rich? Click ahead to find out.

By Giovanny Moreano&Paul Toscano
Posted 25 Jan 2012


Note: 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. Cash holdings do not include long-term investments.

15. Fastenal (FAST)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $145 million Total assets: $1.68 billion Cash as % of assets: 8.6% 1-year stock performance: 56.2%
Photo: Getty Images

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $145 million

Total assets: $1.68 billion
Cash as % of assets: 8.6%

1-year stock performance: 56.2%

See FAST Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

14. C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $383 million Total assets: $2.17 billion Cash as % of assets: 17.6% 1-year stock performance: -13%
Photo: C.H. Robinson | Facebook

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $383 million

Total assets: $2.17 billion
Cash as % of assets: 17.6%

1-year stock performance: -13%

See CHRW Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

13. F5 Networks (FFIV)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $585.33 Total assets: $1.59 billion Cash as % of assets: 36.6% YTD stock price performance: -31.68%

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $557 million

Total assets: $1.69 billion
Cash as % of assets: 32.8%

1-year stock performance: 15.5%

See FFIV Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

12. Citrix (CTXS)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $775 million Total assets: $3.88 billion Cash as % of assets: 20% 1-year stock performance: 4.9%
Photo: Ramim Talaie | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $775 million

Total assets: $3.88 billion
Cash as % of assets: 20%

1-year stock performance: 4.9%

See CTXS Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

11. Red Hat (RHT)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $937.24 million Total assets: $2.31 billion Cash as % of assets: 40.6% YTD stock price performance: +1.4%
Photo: Lucidio Studio Inc | Getty Images

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $808 million

Total assets: $2.38 billion
Cash as % of assets: 34%

1-year stock performance: +12.9%

See RHT Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

10. LSI Corp (LSI)

Potential to Pop: 60.4% Mean Price Target: $6.67 Closing Price (8/26): $4.16Number of Analysts: 14 High Estimate: $11 Low Estimate: $4.75
Photo: LSI.com

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $879 million

Total assets: $2.27 billion
Cash as % of assets: 38.7%

1-year stock price performance: 22.3%

See LSI Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

9. T Rowe Price Group (TROW)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.03 billion Total assets: $3.88 billion Cash as % of assets: 26.5% YTD stock price performance: -15.0%
Photo: AP

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.01 billion

Total assets: $3.84 billion
Cash as % of assets: 26.2%

1-year stock performance: -9.0%

See TROW Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

8. Autodesk (ADSK)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.37 billion Total assets: $2.97 billion Cash as % of assets: 46.2% YTD stock price performance: -16.81%
Photo: Autodesk.com

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.34 billion

Total assets: $3.01 billion
Cash as % of assets: 44.7%

1-year stock performance: -12.8%

See ADSK Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

7. Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $1.74 billion Total assets: $5.75 billion Cash as % of assets: 30.3% YTD stock price performance: +25.76%
Photo: Getty Images

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.52 billion

Total assets: $5.85 billion
Cash as % of assets: 26.1%

1-year stock performance: +28.8%

See BBBY Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

6. Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $993.9 million Total assets: $2.65 billion Cash as % of assets: 37.5% YTD stock price performance: +61.25%
Photo: IntuitiveSurgical.com

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.17 billion

Total assets: $3.06 billion
Cash as % of assets: 70.9%

1-year stock performance: +34.2%

See ISRG Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

5. Forest Labs (FRX)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.34 billion Total assets: $7.22 billion Cash as % of assets: 32.5% YTD stock price performance: -2.28%
Photo: Getty Images

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.205 billion

Total assets: $6.92 billion
Cash as % of assets: 31.8%

1-year stock performance: UNCH

See FRX Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

4. Cognizant Tech (CTSH)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $2.27 billion Total assets: $4.92 billion Cash as % of assets: 46.2% YTD stock price performance: -4.19%

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.29 billion

Total assets: $5.1 billion
Cash as % of assets: 44.9%

1-year stock performance: -4.2%

See CTSH Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

3. Mastercard (MA)

Reports Earnings: Feb 4When: Before The BellJust like Visa, getting a handle on the health of the credit card industry can tell you a lot about the economy and market as a whole. With American Express (AXP) and Capital One already reporting in January, Mastercard's announcement in February will round out this important sector.
Photo: AP

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $4.39 billion

Total assets: $9.67 billion
Cash as % of assets: 45.4%

1-year stock performance: +43.4%

See MA Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

2. Amazon.com (AMZN)

Kindle-Inventions-Killed-Businesses-SS.jpg
Amazon.com that it sold more e-books than paperback books during the last quarter of 2010. So while it still may be too early to say that e-books have overtaken real books with consumers, the popularity of the Amazon Kindle e-reader suggests that a mass consumer exodus to digital from paper books may be underway.It’s not hard to understand why the Kindle and other e-readers are so popular. The device is smaller than a magazine and can store up to 3,000 books, all while weighing , as in the case
Photo: Amazon.com

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $6.32 billion

Total assets: $19.05 billion
Cash as % of assets: 33.2%

1-year stock performance: +5.7%

See AMZN Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data

1. Apple (AAPL)

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Total debt: $0 Cash & ST investments: $30.2 billion* Total assets: $116.37 billion Cash as % of assets: 22.3%1-year stock performance: 24.6%
Photo: Getty Images

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $30.2 billion*

Total assets: $116.37 billion
Cash as % of assets: 22.3%

1-year stock performance: 24.6%

*Note: Apple has an additional $67.5 billion in long-term investments.

See AAPL Real-Time Quote and Full Financial Data