Cash-Rich Tech Companies, Apple Lags?

Sheet of US one hundred dollar bills
Don Farrall | Digital Vision | Getty Images
Sheet of US one hundred dollar bills

When you think of cash-rich companies, the first name that may come to mind is Apple.

But relative to its size, is Apple holding more cash than its peers? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is no.

Apple, the darling stock of retail investors and hedge funds, made waves in the past quarter when its cash number was reported to be at $97.6 billion.

This amount, however, includes cash, short-term and long-term investments, with the latter not always being as liquid as the first two.

On Monday, the CNBC Analytics team published a list of “10 Cash-Rich Companies," which compared cash and short-term investments of individual companies to their assets. Since cash holdings can vary significantly by industry, the slideshow isolated firms with the largest cash holdings within all 10 S&P 500 sectors.

Apple, however, did not make it to the list.

According to the methodology used in the report, long-term investments were not included, leaving Apple with approximately $30.16 billion in cash and short-term investments, compared with $138.68 billion in assets.

These numbers show that Apple’s cash holdings represent 22 percent of total assets, far below the top tech company Altera, which stands at over 80 percent.

But even if long-term investments were included, Apple’s cash holdings would account for approximately 70 percent of total assets, which is still below other cash-heavy companies in the tech sector, relative to their size.

For a comparison of cash holdings across select tech companies, see the below chart.