It’s easy to forget the big picture when you report on a quarterly earnings. Apple has seen a tremendous year. With $156 billion in revenue representing 45 percent growth compared to 2011, and an incredible 61 percent increase of net income compared to 2011. But even more impressive, Apple now has $121.3 billion in cash, enough to buy Amazon or a space station, and still having some left.

Amazon’s market capitalization ticks at $100.77 billion today. And many of what you could consider big tech companies have a smaller market cap. Yahoo’s market cap is $19.68 billion, Facebook’s is $48.33 billion. And let’s not compare to Dell or HP who have a $16.03 billion and $27.90 billion market cap.

As long as Apple keeps generation such profits, there is no end to this cash pile. Three months ago, Apple had $117.2 billion in the bank (short term financial investments or equivalent).

Apple has been very shy when it comes to acquisitions. Over the years, it has only bought a handful of companies, including Lala, Chomp and Siri.

Even compared to Apple’s own market capitalization, its cash represents more than 20 percent of its gigantic $571.38 billion market cap. Yet, the ratio cash versus market cap is slowly going down, because Apple shares are raising even more. Here’s the percentage evolution:

And of course, there are the funny comparisons. Beautiful buildings and monuments are cool, but let’s not stop there. As we’ve learned recently, a space station “only” costs around $100 billion. Space is the next frontier, right?

April 1, 1976


Started by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has expanded from computers to consumer electronics over the last 30 years, officially changing their name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. in January 2007.

Among the key offerings from Apple’s product line are: Pro line laptops (MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac Pro), consumer line laptops (MacBook Air) and desktops (iMac), servers (Xserve), Apple TV, the Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server operating systems, the iPod, the…

→ Learn more