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Apple's $18 billion stash

Where's all that cash that Apple made from the iPhone and all those iPods, Macs, and iTunes downloads last year going? Why, right into Apple's mattress. According to the Financial Times, Apple currently has $18 billion sitting on their balance sheet, doing nothing much at all. And they're OK with that -- Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer recently said in the Q1 conference call that they like having that "flexibility." And after all, you never know when you might need to drop $18 billion on something important.

All that money doing nothing isn't so great for Apple's investors though, some of whom apparently want a piece of the pie. They might like to see dividends, stock buybacks, or even actual spending come out of that on Apple's part (later in the piece, I'm surprised to see that Apple only spends 3% of their sales on R&D, while Microsoft spends 14%). But no -- Apple is flush with cash from all their big sales numbers, and they want to apparently stay that way.

[Via Ars]

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