Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable business, led U.S. corporations in amassing a record $1.24 trillion of cash last year as memories of the 2008 credit crisis linger, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
Excluding Apple, with $97.6 billion of cash and no outstanding debt, the figure was relatively unchanged at $1.15 trillion, even as revenue and cash flow from operations rose to a record, Moody’s analysts led by Richard Lane said in a report yesterday. Investment-grade companies graded A3 or higher by Moody’s hold $594.3 billion, or 54 percent, Moody’s said in the report, which tracked cash and liquid investments for non-financials.
Capital expenditures, or funds used for activities from repairing a roof to building a new factory, rose to $714 billion, the highest since 2008, accounting for the biggest use of cash from operations, the analysts said in the report. Acquisition spending followed with $329 billion, while dividend payments rose to $284 billion and share buybacks increased to $194 billion.