Non-financial corporations in the U.S. are projected to finish the year sitting on US$1.77 trillion in cash, up from US$1.68 trillion at the same time last year, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service Inc.
In fact, U.S. corporate cash holdings have more than doubled in the past 10 years, driven by companies in the technology sector, which now account for almost half of all cash held by U.S. companies, the New York-based credit-rating agency reports.
Apple Inc., which Moody’s projects will have more than US$250 billion in cash by the end of 2016, leads all cash holders. Fellow technology firms Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company), Cisco Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp. round out the top five, in that order.
Most of the cash these companies have generated is being held overseas, Moody’s says. It estimates that overseas cash will total about US$1.3 trillion, or 74% of the total, up from an estimated US$1.2 trillion (72% of total cash) a year earlier.
“Without tax reform that reduces the negative financial consequences of repatriating money to the U.S., we expect offshore cash levels to continue increase,” says Richard Lane, senior vice president with Moody’s, in a statement.