By Bronte Price, PoliticKING
According to an analysis released Friday by ratings agency Moody's Investors Service, 5 companies own 30% of the cash and cash equivalents held by U.S. non-financial companies in 2015. Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Oracle (ORCL) hold $504 billion (30%) of the $1.7 trillion in the U.S. What’s more is that nearly three-quarters of cash held by non-financial U.S. companies is stashed overseas, out of reach from U.S. taxes.
These five companies held 27% of cash in 2014 and in 2013 they held 25%. Apple is holding more cash and investments on it’s own than 80% of the entire industry sectors.
Although the amount of cash held by U.S. companies rose 1.8% in 2015, 72% of that cash is being held outside the U.S., as companies avoid paying U.S. tax rates. This is up from 64% in 2014 and 58% in 2013.
Moody's: a third of cash is owned by 5 US companies and 87% of it is overseas https://t.co/M7OJEtkiR3
— Robert C. Fried (@RCFried) May 20, 2016
According to the analysis, U.S. non-financial companies have $1.2 trillion in cash outside the U.S. This is up from $1.1 trillion in 2014 and $947 billion in 2013. Moody's Investors Service projects that the cash stored overseas will only grow. Many of the biggest holders of cash are the same companies with much of their cash outside the U.S. Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Alphabet and Oracle have $441 billion saved overseas, which is 87% of their total cash.
"We expect that overseas cash balances will continue to grow unless tax laws are changed to encourage companies to repatriate money," the Moody's report says. "There has been little progress toward corporate tax reform that would incentivize U.S. companies to permanently repatriate funds held overseas." Moody's said in a statement.
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