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Follow the Money: 5 Extremely Cash-Rich Stocks

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Apple and Google top the list.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Now that earnings season is winding down, we can direct our attention back to the other measures of a company's worth. My favorite is cash -- a lot of cash on hand, so much so that all debts could be wiped out in an instant. Perhaps that is wishful thinking.

To me, cash is actual in-the-bank cash plus short-term liquid investments. Money isn't my only bias. I like to see free cash flow greater than total debt. Plus, I'm very fond of earnings per share ("EPS"). I like EPS to grow because I see no reason not to have it all.

However, I decided not to penalize the group that had steady, but not growing, EPS, and have listed them below.

Please note that perfectly good companies have not made this list because of my many biases. But it's interesting that of all the major stocks traded, I could only definitively identify five companies that met my criteria. Two are listed on the NYSE, and three are listed on the Nasdaq.

AAPL Cash and ST Investments Chart

Also note that I primarily used YCharts to screen the stocks. To be safe, I cross-checked the numbers with the Yahoo Finance Stock Screener. In most cases, these numbers were in the same ballpark, give or take a few hundred million. However, in two cases -- Qualcomm (QCOM) and eBay (EBAY) -- the figures were billions of dollars apart. I left them out for now while I'm doing more investigation into this discrepancy. When I looked at the SEC documents, it was not clear how either Yahoo or YCharts came to their otherwise precise (to three decimal points) totals. Clearly I'm missing something.

One thing that became obvious was the peril of relying on a single (or perhaps any) Stock Screener, which will be addressed in the future.

Here are the five stocks that have the cash and, to all appearances, the wherewithal to spend it wisely. The stock prices are as of approximately 11:45 a.m. EDT Monday, August 6.

The A Team: Positive EPS Growth

Apple
(AAPL).
Price: $622.11
Market Cap: $575.53 billion
Cash: $27.65 billion
Long-Term Debt: 0
Free Cash Flow: $8.133 billion
EPS: $42.55
EPS Growth 19.64%

Google (GOOG)
Price: $647.49
Market Cap: $208.84 billion
Cash: $43.12 billion
Long-Term Debt: $2.987 billion
Free Cash Flow: $3.478 billion
EPS: $33.74
EPS Growth: 9.64%

EMC Corporation (EMC)
Price: $26.76
Market Cap: $56.15 billion
Cash: $5.653 billion
Long-Term Debt: $1.71 billion
Free Cash Flow: $1.058 billion
EPS: $1.21
EPS Growth: 20.83%

The B Team: No EPS Growth

Intel (INTC)
Price: $26.47
Market Cap: $132.72 billion
Cash: $13.65 billion
Long-Term Debt: $7.185 billion
Free Cash Flow: $2.077 billion
EPS: $2.36
EPS Growth: 0%

Microsoft (MSFT)
Price: $29.97
Market Cap: $250.35 billion
Cash: $63.04 billion
Long-Term Debt: $11.94 billion
Free Cash Flow: $7.055 billion
EPS: $2
EPS Growth: 0%
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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