CEO Tim Cook said during the firm's fiscal first quarter earnings call that such tax reform would be "good for Apple." But while waiting for details on a plan, Cook said the company is "always looking at acquisitions" for their strategic value.
Several analyst notes leading up to the earnings report laid out a range of scenarios on what Apple could do with its cash:
- Simona Jankowski at Goldman Sachs said in an April 12 note that she expects Apple to increase its cumulative capital return program by $45 billion to $50 billion over the next two years.
- UBS' Steven Milunovich wrote in a Monday report he expects Apple to increase buybacks by $40 billion and raise the dividend by 10 percent to 62 cents a share. He has a buy rating with a price target of $151 a share.
- Barclays' Mark Moskowitz said in a Monday report that "a cloud acquisition could better position Apple for the long term by providing the company with greater exposure to the enterprise."
Such conjecture, Damodaran said, however, is generally faulty. The one thing he credits Apple for is not listening to many of those Wall Street analysts.
"Accumulating cash is actually the end product of a good investment. Be glad that not every company is a cash-burning machine. You need cash-accumulating companies like Apple to help," he said, noting that theoretically, shareholders could use the extra capital they earned from Apple's stock to invest in Tesla or Uber so Apple doesn't have to do that for them.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story on Apple's cash hoard that noted management's preference for leaving cash untouched, while pointing out that the iPhone maker "could buy both Tesla and Netflix and still have plenty left over."
The online version of the article also included an interactive graphic which lets readers choose which companies Apple could buy with its cash.
Shares of electric car company and infamous cash burner Tesla hit an intraday record on Tuesday and have a market capitalization worth more than $52 billion. Netflix shares traded within $2 of their intraday record high touched Monday and currently tip the scales at a market value above $67 billion.
"Cash is not the problem. It's what they could do with the cash that could potentially be a problem," Damodaran said. "It can become a problem if people stop trusting management and you know what could cause people to stop trusting management? A big acquisition."
— CNBC's Michael Bloom, Steven Kopack and Christine Wang contributed to this report.
Watch: What the charts say about Apple earnings