The amount of cash held by US non-financial companies totaled $1.84 trillion at the end of 2016, up 9.2% from $1.68 trillion at the end of 2015, Moody's Investors Service says in a new report. The top-five cash hoarders all come from the technology sector, with Apple holding a record high of $246.1 billion.
"The technology sector today holds the most cash among US non-financial companies, accounting for 47% of the total, followed by healthcare/pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and energy," says Richard Lane, Moody's senior vice president. "The top five most cash-flush companies -- Apple, Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Oracle -- now hold 32% of the total, with Apple by itself accounting for 13.4%.”
Moody's estimates cash held overseas amounted to $1.3 trillion, or 70% of the total cash pile in 2016, up from its estimate of $1.2 trillion, or 72% of the total in 2015. This amount reflects the negative tax consequences of permanently repatriating money to the US, as well as the use of domestic cash for dividends, share buybacks and the majority of acquisitions, adds the provider of credit ratings, research and risk analysis . Of Apple’s $246 billion, 95% is held overseas; that’s up from 93% in 2015.