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Apple Now Debt Free, Says Internal Memo

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the sprightly-even dept.

Apple 627

An anonymous reader writes "99mac.se publishes an internal memo from Steve Jobs to Apple employees today. According to the Memo, Jobs states that "Today is a historic day of sorts for our company." Apple used $300 million in cash to pay off the rest of their debt, and is now a debt-free company. A big turnaround from over $1 billion in debt in mid-1997. Also noted in the memo is that Apple has $4.8 billion in the bank at this time." (Since this is not coming straight from Apple, confirmation -- or debunking -- would be helpful.)

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627 comments

want confirmation? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318259)

when's their next SEC filing deadline?

Re:want confirmation? (5, Funny)

mal3 (59208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318426)

I doubt it's true. That bastard Jobs still owes me $5 from high school.

Re:want confirmation? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318455)

Let me guess... for a reach-around?

Re:want confirmation? - SEC filling just happened (3, Informative)

Lord Haha (753617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318463)

The latest Filling was Feburary 10th, summmarized [macnn.com] full [sec.gov] My educated geuss since most filling as trimesterly about May 10th will be the next major SEC filling.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318261)

fp

frist psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318265)

blah blah blah

Because.. (5, Funny)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318267)

They didn't make a game console that doesn't make money.

Re:Because.. (2, Insightful)

homeobocks (744469) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318319)

Nor did they make a chat client and protocol that loses money. In my opinion, Microsoft is just doing this to take over the market, so they can up the prices when there are no competetors. The bread and butter of a monopoly.

Re:Because.. (5, Informative)

sydsavage (453743) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318349)

You've obviously never heard of Pippin [worldhistory.com] .

Re:Because.. (5, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318359)

Yes they did. It was called the Pippin [macgeek.org] and was relased by Bandai. It did very bad in the US and Japanese markets. It booted MacOS 7 off of a CD (no internal storage) so, while it could run any Macintosh game, the game had to be built with an OS image on the CD.

Re:Because.. (4, Funny)

perdelucena (455667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318370)

"Apple [...] is now a debt-free company."

One more prof that Apple is still dying...

Re:Because.. (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318377)

You mean besides the Pippin? [theapplemuseum.com]

Re:Because.. (0, Troll)

grecorj (150980) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318379)

They didn't make a game console that doesn't make money

If you're referring to MSFT, they have 10x as much cash on hand and no debt.

I'm not sure of the significance here -- any finance prof worth his salt will tell you that there's no difference in how you finance your company (ie, debt, equity).

How does this compare with other companies? (4, Interesting)

Raleel (30913) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318268)

Particularly other hardware and software firms?

Re:How does this compare with other companies? (3, Funny)

krog (25663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318333)

How does this compare? Favorably.

Re:How does this compare with other companies? (1)

NecroDeemer (751700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318369)

Well, Microsoft aren't in debt I think, nor are SCO. Not sure about smaller Linux based companies.

Re:How does this compare with other companies? (5, Interesting)

justanyone (308934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318416)

So, it seems Apple, like White Castle, among other companies, is debt free.

However, being debt free is not necessarily a good thing. I was informed by an accounting / MBA friend that having corporate debt can be a very, very good thing when it comes to tax time. Apparently, it's useful to mortgage certain properties (including real estate, physical plant, etc.). This lets you write down things or depreciate them differently I think.

I'm sure there's accountants out there (though how many of them read Slashdot is an open question). Can anyone explain this? Or Refute it?

-- Kevin J. Rice, programmer (not accountant!), Chicago area.

First to say - Well Done (3, Interesting)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318271)

Any company in this day and age that can consider itself solvent has to be doing something right. You may not agree with the tactics but the end result of being debt free is quite an accomplishment. Now if only the rest of us could say the same !!!!

Re:First to say - Well Done (5, Interesting)

be-fan (61476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318336)

Debt isn't an inherently bad thing. Without maintaining some debt, its hard to become economically successful. One of the key reasons why Britain is so rich, for example, is because it was willing to carry a debt in the process of expanding, while other countries were not.

They key is to manage the debt carefully, and make sure that the interest payments do not get so large that they start eating away at your profits.

Re:First to say - Well Done (-1, Flamebait)

jshift2work (748726) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318410)

That explains the Democrats rational for spending so much.

Re:First to say - Well Done (-1, Troll)

wxfield (44862) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318460)

hahaha..Britain isn't wealthy..are you saying that due to it's currency valuation?! They never took their currency off the gold standard..like Nixon did in the early 70's with the U.S. dollar. Geniuses galore today, eh wat?

$4.8 billion (5, Informative)

UberChuckie (529086) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318275)

Is that cash reserves or for daily operation? Huge difference.

Re:$4.8 billion (1)

samsmithnz (702471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318441)

Daily operation? I think you mean Cash Flow.

I doubt that is money in the bank though, otherwise they would have paid off that measly 300 million years ago...

Re:$4.8 billion (1)

eln (21727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318479)

I would hope it means cash reserves, as it's nearly impossible for a company of any sufficiently large size to be able to tell with any accuracy how much cash they have in the bank for daily operations at any given moment. Any number they put out on that would be little more than a guess.

is that a good thing? (5, Interesting)

Nathan Brazil (13299) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318276)

With interest rates as low as they are right now, shouldn't they be borrowing and investing more in the future, or some such economic technobabble like that? Cash in the bank can't be giving them as much growth as investment would...

Though cash in the bank is very safe, at least.

Re:is that a good thing? (5, Interesting)

Ranger96 (452365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318337)

Even more to the point, if the interest Apple was paying on the debt was lower than the return they could make investing the $300M, then (everything else being equal), this wasn't the best use of their cash.

However, there are too many variables for a non-insider to really know. Most companies have finance people who are at least competent enough to make these kinds of decisions. This is Finance 101 stuff.

Chris

Re:is that a good thing? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318372)

Last I checked, it was good to be out of debt if interest rates were high. Now they don't have that debt to worry about they can invest the remaining money however their accountants advise.

Lets see... (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318277)

The crashing success of iTunes, and iPods? Along with OS X and the resurgence of the iMacs? I don't think its that hard to accept that they are now in the black.

Re:Lets see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318329)

Yes and how about their market-share dwindling to 1.8%?

Re:Lets see... (3, Interesting)

ryanw (131814) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318464)

Actually... as long apple stays in business, I could careless what their market share is. I know between my house and my inlaws house's it's in the upper 70% ratio of macs to pcs. Ever since I got a mac I have convinced them to go the same way. This has reduced the "friendly inlaw house calls" down to about 1 every 6 months instead of one every few weeks.

Seriously! You ever get stuck making house calls to fix friend's computers? Ever since I've convinced people to go mac they've been more functional (making dvd's, photo albums, burning CD's, No Email viruses) and I get almost no calls from friends asking for help. They don't have the same issues as with Windows or even worse would be linux.

Re:Lets see... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318357)

Yeah, but you suck at the glass dick of Apple, so your opinion isn't worth shit.

You'll repeat anything they tell you to.

Re:Lets see... (5, Insightful)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318390)

This isn't being in the black. Being in the back means being profitable and they've been profitable long before now. This isn't a sign of business strength either, since many companies keep some debt around just so they have some flexibility when it comes to reporting their financials.

This is more of a business decision to run a debt-free company. With 4.8 billion cash on hand they could have been debt free before now.

Witness... (3, Insightful)

crushinghellhammer (727226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318280)

the birth of the next corporate monster...now totally unfettered by the chains of debt

Re:Witness... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318405)

Apple is well fettered by the chains of their own snobish elitism, the cult of Jobs, and a cowardly management.

Otherwise they would be selling Mac OS X for the Intel platform at $199.99, and we linux users would have to shit our pants and start writing quality code because we wouldn't be competeing against just Windows any more.

I don't know how... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318281)

But i'm sure a lot of people here will take that for an other sign Apple will surely sink very fast now ;-)

First post, BTW.

Re:I don't know how... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318324)

Actually 73rd post, but thanks for playing!

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318282)

...Satan values Darl McBride's soul at $1 billion... ;)

I call shenanigans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318286)

poop!

these numbers seem to high (1, Interesting)

rollthelosindice (635783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318289)

to go from 1 billion in debt to 4.8 in cash is a large move even for 6 or 7 years of good business. I'd wait to see this in an SEC filing before i believe it.

Re:these numbers seem to high (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318400)

They've had the cash for some time now. They just never got around to paying off their debts.

Re:these numbers seem to high (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318432)

Debt is what you owe other people. It has nothing to do with how much you actually have.
=Smidge=

Time to celebrate... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318292)

...by putting a whole bunch of iPods on the credit card.

Where did the money come from (4, Interesting)

SuDZ (450180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318296)

Now that they are out of debt I wonder what the percentages of the income were. For example was the new OS's able to give 20% of that, the iPod good for 40% etc. What about iTunes? I know I just picked those %'s out of the air and have no way of guessing what they might be but what do you guys think helped them get into the clear?

SuDZ

why wait so long? (2, Insightful)

MrDigital (741552) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318297)

I don't understand why a company with $4.8 billion (or $5.1 billion pre-$300mill hit) would wait this long to pay off the $300 million owed. Obviously the money is coming in hand over fist, so they would probably want to pay it off as soon as possible to please investors. Not much is more enticing than a company with billions of dollars in the bank and no debt as it means the company is being run in a 'correct' way.

Re:why wait so long? (4, Informative)

katre (44238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318347)

I don't understand why a company with $4.8 billion (or $5.1 billion pre-$300mill hit) would wait this long to pay off the $300 million owed.

When they say $4.8 billion in the bank, they don't mean $4.8 billion sitting there doing nothing. They mean $4.8 billion, part of which is earmarked for salaries in the next quarter, part of which is for office space, maintainance, etc, part of which is for production of new units, part of which is for research and development, and maybe a very tiny bit that's actually not earmarked for anything. And it's that tiny bit not earmarked for anything that they can use to pay off the debts. Remember: $4.8 billion is a lot of cash, but Apple is a huge company these days, and it takes a lot of cash to keep that going.

Re:why wait so long? (3, Informative)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318418)

According to the article , the debt just matured - I'm only guessing, but if they paid it off early there may have been large monetary penalties.

Debt management is a complicated game (1, Insightful)

pete_contact11 (626708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318471)

Many people make lots of money just doing debt management. It's like a big complicated mathematical game, and often having debt and moving debt correctly can yield bigger returns than managing assets. I'm sure lots of smart people decided when and why to pay off their debt.

Re:why wait so long? (1)

tonydiesel (658999) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318473)

Very simple. Depending on the interest rate of their debt -- they were probably making more in interest by sitting on their cash, than the interest that was accruing on their debt. Thus it made more sense for them to sit on the cash as long as possible because it was worth more to them in interest than it was as a payment on the debt.

Pre-emptive Mac bashing reply (0, Troll)

veddermatic (143964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318298)

"LOL Macs Suck!!@!!!"

"Yeah, they may be in good financial shape, but they can't play games!"

"LOL, if they'd come out with loganberry colored ones they'd make even more money! LOL!!!@!!!"

debunk (5, Funny)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318300)

I can debunk it right now - Steve Jobs owes me thousands of dollars for the mental anguish I've experienced when trying to use the imac's original "hockey puck" mouse.

Re:debunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318360)

dork, why didn't you just buy another mouse? Don't you have to try to mitigate the damages yourself before you launch a massive assault? Y'know, kinda like SCO should have done from the start?

About Time (2, Insightful)

dbesade (745908) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318302)

Since 1997, eliminating that much debt in 7 years is a real accomplishment. At least we now know, finally that Apple isn't going out of business or declare bankruptcy. (Like it was going to happen anyway)

In related news... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318306)

...Darl McBride announced that Apple was now in good shape to pay for the BSD/Inix IP licensing they are using for OSX.

Question? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318307)

Why is this newsworthy?
When IBM releases a new version of Domino, is there a posting on macslash?
It is HIGHLY probable that more of Us(tm) have to deal with things like Domino, or Oracle AS, or what-have-you, then some consumer level video editing program.
So what? Apple released, no wait, is GOING TO release a new version of Final Cut.
Did you hear that SUN is going to "ignite" the "Adrenaline Rush" in "Java Technology" based games? Well I hope you didn't hear it on macslash.
What the fuck? since when are press releases newsworthy? Surely when they relate to the geek population. How many video editors do you know who read macslash? no, really. I know 0
I know 3 IT guys, 2 IT managers, and 4 programmers who read macslash. They don't give a DAMN about some piece of software that they'll never use!

Bad? (2, Informative)

Ymiris (733964) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318309)

Isn't this a bad thing? I thought if you were out a debt you were in danger of being bought..or am I completly off here?

Re:Bad? (1)

DR SoB (749180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318396)

A wise man once said "You can measure a man's wealth by how much he owe's.".

When Apple started they had very little debt as well, apparently this didn't help much back then. It's really all about marketing, not how much you have saved under the mattress...

Re:Bad? (2, Informative)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318478)

Also, keep in mind the concept of a poison pill.

If you as a business consultant, they'll tell you the best thing you can do for a home business is pay off your house, but exercise a line of equity. You don't have to actually USE the equity line, and no one can tell how much you HAVE used.

So, someone who slips and falls on your property and considers suing you simply to take your house will think twice, as you may have borrowed a huge amount on it and it would cost them more to repay it.

I'm sure corporations exercise similar concepts. Being out-of-debt is always a good thing. Ensuring that you don't look like a good target requires creative ways of _appearing_ in debt.

Lesson Learned... (5, Funny)

fetus (322414) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318311)

Sometimes overcharging does pay off...

Re:Lesson Learned... (2, Funny)

jasonhamilton (673330) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318364)

They only had to sell 2 dozen ipods :)

Re:Lesson Learned... (0)

homeobocks (744469) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318382)

You've got me wondering now if I can order a G5, and get a refund for OS X, running linux instead.

its about time (2, Funny)

steak (145650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318314)

I gave jobs three blintz to paint my fence back in '01, maybe now he can get around to doing it.

Re:its about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318444)

Those blintzes were terrible.

Re:its about time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318458)

those blintzes were crap!

memo text from website (1, Redundant)

jshift2work (748726) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318320)

Team, Today is a historic day of sorts for our company. When I arrived back at Apple in mid-1997, the company was burdened with $1 billion of debt. Through everyone's hard work we turned Apple around, paid off the majority of our debt and began to amass a war chest of cash in the bank which has grown to about $4.8 billion! But there was still $300 million of remaining debt, which we decided to hold to maturity. Today we used $300 million of our cash to pay off this remaining debt. Apple is now a debt-free company - for the first time in over a decade! It sure feels good. Steve

Yay... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318321)

Now they can afford to cut the price of the ipod mini damn it...

All this means... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318326)

...is that Apple will now increase spending on its secret relationship with Fisher-Price's R&D to come out with uglier and gaudier looking products.

Good for everyone (5, Insightful)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318327)

A healthy Apple is important for the computer industry. Even if you don't use Apples, you benefit from the PC industry's price undercutting of Apple's products. Apple is only "expensive" in the sense that everyone else endeavors to be cheaper.

Choice is good - including platform choice.

Re:Good for everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318404)

Had to comment on your tagline:

LOSE is the opposite of WIN
LOOSE is the opposite of TIGHT
It's really not that hard, people...


Yeah, but Lose Dough's the same as Windows.

Re:Good for everyone (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318451)

I don't see that as necessarily true. Even if we were to loose Apple, for all intensive purposes their'd be alot of competition, Dell vs HP for example. Apple has rediculous prices because of it's exclusive machines whereas Dell and HP are selling commodities. About the only thing Apple help's is keeping the MPAA of our backs with it's iTunes thing.

Sorry, I just wanted to annoy you.

Market share isn't everything! (5, Insightful)

SoTuA (683507) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318328)

If found true, this tidbit of information goes to show that market share isn't everything... unless you do business in commodity goods. Apple computers have been always marketed at a niche of people who are aware of the fact that quality & luxury costs a little more. You can be a successful company with only 5% of the market.

Who needs the market share when you've got a cool 4 billion bucks in the bank, and the mind share - apple equals style and coolness, like it or not.

Now back to my beige box... :(

The big question (0, Interesting)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318331)

Will Apple use a bit of additional money to pay back the money Microsoft invested in them back... oh, was it 5, 6, 7 years ago? That might revive the old OS wars, and make a lot of Mac fans (including myself) quite happy...

MS long gone... (2, Informative)

NotClever (635709) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318401)

I believe that the money bought MS stock in Apple, which was sold pretty promptly.

Re:The big question (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318469)

Will Apple use a bit of additional money to pay back the money Microsoft invested in them back... oh, was it 5, 6, 7 years ago?

MS cashed out awhile ago. And, from what I've heard, they only bought the money because Apple forced them into a deal / settlement that gave them cash and Office for five years.

Re:The big question (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318476)

For someone who claims to be an Apple fan, you sure know sweet fuck all about the Microsoft "investment."

It's true! (3, Funny)

stephenb (18235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318338)

Apple's stock is up $.07 [lycos.com] , it must be true! ;-)

Re:It's true! (1)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318449)

then yesterday's SCO story must be truer :)

Up 2% $0.30 [yahoo.com]

It must be true! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318339)

Steve's name is on the memo!!

From the iPod Propels Apple Department (1)

Wingit (98136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318345)

Is it just me, or am I seeing a new paradigm. Apple is partially being saved by the iPod. Windows NT and 2000 source code is released...er stolen and posted on the Net so it can be written off. Next I predict that Microsoft will be a huge player in VoIP with Xbox Live. Maybe its just me...

Re:From the iPod Propels Apple Department (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318431)

A new paradigm?! It's just you.

Insider trading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318352)

Doesn't this sort of information represent insider trading? an "Internal memo"?? No verification? Hrmm.. something smells funny!

Good for Apple (1, Interesting)

stealth.c (724419) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318354)

If this is true, the future could be bright for Apple customers. With the company operating in the black now, perhaps there is a little leeway for prices to come down. Imagine a decked-out G5 costing the same as a similar Wintel box+monitor.

Heck, Apple may one day soon be in a strong enough position to risk porting OSX to other platforms. I believe that the sooner one's choice OS becomes irrelevant, the sooner real, healthy, competition can take place in this industry.

Finacial Statements (1)

AEC216 (621410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318355)

That would give Apple a stronger borrowing position with banks. Has anyone pulled their balance and income statements? Anyone here an Apple shareholder?

Battery brings windfall (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318356)

Who would have known that charging customers $200 for a simple iPod battery would result in such a windfall as to allow them to pay off such a large debt. I bet they were laughing all the way to the bank ... oh wait, until the lawsuit is worked out, they STILL ARE laughing.

He forgot to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318358)

..."according to the audit performed by Arthur Anderson" part.

How about me? (3, Funny)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318367)

An iPod, a 15 inch PowerBook, iLife '04, Panther... if only I could get debt free. Apple has me hooked, I can't believe how much cash I spend on their products. Well worth it though.

Cool! That puts them in a great position (4, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318373)

. . .to borrow capital.

KFG

Interesting for a public company (5, Interesting)

oliverk (82803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318378)

Debt is very good for public companies (in fact it raises the valuation, mainly because of the tax ramifications on debt versus equity issuance). [note: I'm a first year MBA at Georgia Tech...so I'm speaking strictly academically].

It makes me wonder about Jobs' (or the CFO's) motivations. Strictly speaking, this would be the smartest move if Apple were to pursue a Leverage BuyOut (LBO), which is basically a reverse IPO. I can't see them doing this, but would give them a chance to radically reposition the company without requiring stockholder approval.

Just thinking out loud...

.

interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318380)

Apple only had $3.7B in cash last quarter, but $6B in current assets.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/320193/00 01 10465904003080/a04-1622_110q.htm

The secret (0, Redundant)

agentZ (210674) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318381)

1. Make neat looking computers/music players
2. (Previously ?????) Put them in cool colors
3. PROFIT!

Enough already (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318470)

This is the most pathetic cliche on /. I bet you still answer the phone with "wasssup!"

that sounds right (5, Informative)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318388)


according to their last sec filing, they had 300 million in debt and about 5 billion cash.

see this for details. [yahoo.com]

Isn't this a bad thing? (2, Interesting)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318397)

From what little I know about finance, isn't this a bad thing? If their business ideas are good, then shouldn't they be taking out loans to expand their business? Debt-free may be good for normal folks, but for businesses, it isn't such a great thing.

Re:Isn't this a bad thing? (1)

transient (232842) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318477)

Why take out a loan if you have the cash? Unless you enjoy paying interest, of course.

Addicted to OS X (4, Interesting)

MarkWatson (189759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318402)

Since I am basically addicted to OS X, this is good news :-)

Apple has always had pricey, but cool stuff. I paid a premium for my Apple II (serial number 79 !! - I used it to write the free Chess program that was on the demo cassette for the Apple II).

I paid a premium for my first Mac in 1984.

Sometimes, more expensive products are just worth it.

-Mark

4.8 billion in the bank Yeah right... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8318414)

And there are more Mac users than Windows, too. In fact, Mac OS has a 99% market share.

Buy SCO? (3, Funny)

clmensch (92222) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318415)

Apple should buy SCO, and then drop all lawsuits. They'll "own" Unix (whatever that means), and they can help continue their commitment to the Open Source community.

According to their last 10-Q (5, Interesting)

timbob_com (512241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318437)

Here is their last 10-Q [edgar-online.com] they had a total of $2.6 Billion listed as liabilities and about $7 Billion in Assets (with almost $4.8 B being cash or short term investments) So this is definately possible.

I remember back to something Steve Jobs said back in 97 or 98 when asked how he was going to grow desktop market share. His response was something along the lines of 'We have 6% of the desktop market, Mercedes has 6% of the automobile market. Why aren't you predicting the end of Mercedes?'

iMac, iPod and iTunes really helped them accumulate some iCash.

Plausible based on last quarterly report (3, Informative)

delphin42 (556929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318462)

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=aapl

According to their balance sheet, they had $3.7B in cash as of Dec 27, 2003. At that time they also had a little over $300M in debt. The numbers add up with what is reported in the story, so I wouldn't say there is any reason to believe it isn't true. I would think that something like this would make a press release, but maybe they are waiting for the market close?

Debt isn't necessarily bad... (4, Insightful)

zymurgy_cat (627260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318466)

Something to keep in mind is that debt isn't necessarily bad. Many companies use a combination of equity and debt to finance their operations. Sometimes no debt with lots of cash can actually be dangerous, particularly with the ongoing rise in leveraged buyouts. Granted, Apple is probably protected against this since there is very little to be gained by "breaking up" Apple. (I'd wager it's not even possible.)

It's how a company uses its debt and the amount of debt relative to things like cash flow, equity, etc., that's important.

The people helping Apple get out of the debt... (1)

Zedek (746741) | more than 10 years ago | (#8318472)

Obviously hasen't seen this [ancientspear.com] movie ;) Sure it's an oldie, but it's a goodie
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