Apple shares are down close to 40% from its high last year. As Jim Goldman discussed on The Call today, is now the time for a buyback?
Jim mentioned Apple's large cash position of $18 billion. Looking back at recent balance sheets, cash as a percent of assets has actually been trending down going from 73% in 2005 to 61% by the end of 2007. The same holds true for the past 4 quarters going from 67% to 62%. By comparison, Microsoft and IBM had 32% and 30% cash respectively in their most recent quarterly balance sheets.
Cash & ST Investments / Total Assets (%)
- 2007 - 61%
- 2006 - 59%
- 2005 - 73%
- 2004 - 69%
- 2003 - 68%
On the debt side, Apple has had no long term debt for the past five years. Between lots of cash and no debt, a buyback would be easy.