Google parent company Alphabet has overtaken Apple to become the world's most cash-rich company, reports The Financial Times this morning.

Apple Google new
According to the FT, Apple’s cash hoard has fallen to $102 billion, down from a peak of $163 billion at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, Alphabet's $117 billion cash reserve has risen by almost $20 billion over the same period.

However, as FT notes, Alphabet's new title as "king of cash" may be somewhat of a poisoned chalice, as it could antagonize investors who would rather see the cash being used to reward shareholders with buybacks or dividends.

The leadership switch is said to be a result of Apple's own efforts to reduce its liquidity, by taking advantage of US tax reforms to repatriate overseas reserves and pay out to investors. The company has spent $122 billion on buying back stock and paying dividends in the past 18 months.

Alphabet's stock buybacks, by contrast, have been paltry. In the nearly four years since it began repurchasing its own stock, it has spent an average of only $1.7bn a quarter.

In that time, it has handed out more new shares in the form of employee stock benefits than it has bought back through its repurchase programme. As a result, the payments have done nothing to lift its earnings per share — the reason investors generally welcome buybacks.

Alphabet's new cash-rich status also comes at a time when it is under more intensive scrutiny than ever before. Google and its parent company have received over $9 billion in antitrust fines by the EU in the past two years. It is now facing a new antitrust investigation by the Justice Department.

Alphabet's cash reserves have actually increased despite the parent company's heavy investment in real estate for new office builds and data centers, which will form part of the infrastructure supporting Google's increasing AI endeavors.

In terms of most valuable company on the planet, Apple has been overtaken by both Amazon and Microsoft, with the latter now taking that particular crown. Microsoft is now worth nearly $1.1 trillion, after soaring on the back of optimism about its cloud business.

Tag: Google

Top Rated Comments

MacFan23 Avatar
38 months ago
No suprise, Google doesnt pay a dividend plus they dont engage in those stupid movie productions where Apple will burn money.
Yes, Google, the company well known for following through with every market they enter and making it a success.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikusak Avatar
38 months ago
All the privacy issues Google discover about Apple, you mean?
Those are security issues. Bugs. Flaws in implementation.

There is a difference between security issues and a business model based on gathering as much personal data as possible for running a targeted ad business.
[doublepost=1564664302][/doublepost]
Wow. That’s a lot of iPhones. TIL there are way more people with money to burn in the world than I realized. That’s good I suppose. Thanks for the numbers.
Yes, there are lots of people in the world who can drop ~$800 for a quality device that they use all day long as their most important computer for 2-5 years, since it’s supported with software updates all that time.

(And which still holds some resale value after years of use. iPhone is great value for money.)
[doublepost=1564664592][/doublepost]
Instead of paying dividends that I have to pay taxes on, Apple should use that money to lower the prices of their products.
No. Let’s go further!

Apple should give all their products for free!

Apple’s net margin has not changed for like ten years.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nikusak Avatar
38 months ago
The ball that Steve Jobs knocked way out of the park is beginning to slow its roll. And Tim Cook doesn’t have what it takes to push it further along.
Apple’s market cap has tripled since Jobs died.

Cook has done a good job - despite not being a product visionary like Jobs was.

People seem to expect Apple to do 2007 all over again every year, i.e. release a product that turns an existing industry upside down every single year.

Apparently it’s other companies who are doing this now. I just can’t think of any examples of anyone releasing anything like Apple Watch or AirPods over the last few years.

Oh well, perhaps voice assistants (also known as cooking timers)? But the thing is that neither Google or Amazon is making any money with them.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
38 months ago
The ball that Steve Jobs knocked way out of the park is beginning to slow its roll. And Tim Cook doesn’t have what it takes to push it further along.
What? Jobs laid a great foundation. That is without question. But trying to downplay what Cook has done seems silly. The numbers don't lie. Since this topic is about the numbers, there's no numbers comparison where Cook does not outshine Jobs. Jobs chose Cook for a reason. The results say he chose correctly

Remember, Apple lost the cash lead by choice. They spent money paying dividends and buying back stock.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
audiophilosophy Avatar
38 months ago
The ball that Steve Jobs knocked way out of the park is beginning to slow its roll. And Tim Cook doesn’t have what it takes to push it further along.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
IPPlanMan Avatar
38 months ago
Instead of paying dividends that I have to pay taxes on, Apple should use that money to lower the prices of their products.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

M2 MacBook Pro Much Slower Than Previous Model

Friday July 1, 2022 2:24 am PDT by
Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip features a significantly slower SSD compared to the previous model, resulting in poorer performance in some workflows, it has been discovered. Specifically, it has been found that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro....