Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is one company that is transparent about its growing cash stash.
Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said on Thursday at the Morgan Stanley technology conference, the company plans to hold on to its $48 billion kitty for possible acquisitions and other investments that could help increase the company’s profits, reported The Associated Press.
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While not identifying any future targets, Pichette says Google has lots of cash to be able to “pounce” on buying opportunities. In its most recent earnings report, Google Inc (NASDQ:GOOG) said it was sitting on more than $48 billion in cash.
These comments come as publicly-traded companies are coming under greater scrutiny as they hold onto large cash amounts rather than giving it back to shareholders through dividends.
At the top of this conversation has been Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which has raised a lot of ire by keeping its $137 billion cash stash.
For Google, it may not have any acquisitions to share publicly but last year, it tied with Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) in deals for closely-held technology companies, according to a report by PrivCo LLC.
The two companies snatched up 16 private companies each from this sector in 2012. Right behind them was Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN) with 12 purchases.
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, there is not a requirement for publicly-traded companies to disclose acquisition terms unless they are deemed material events such “that shareholders should know about.”
For Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), it purchased the ad-platform Meebo Inc. in June for an undisclosed amount. Next up came the Wildfire Interactive Inc. purchase in June. This company assists businesses to put ads on social-media sites. The Wall Street Journal reported this transaction came in at approximately $250 million.
But for Google, one of its most highly-publicized acquisitions was its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2011. Many analysts saw this as a defensive move by the company and Google CEO Larry Page concurred in the company’s blog by saying the deal would “enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and other companies.”
This referred to Motorola’s array of patents. Prior to its purchase, Google had also tried to buy Nortel Networks Corporation (PINK:NRTLQ) patent portfolio upon its bankruptcy. It did not workout and again the company took to its blog and explained why it went after the patents.
So if Google likes to go after defensive acquisitions, what could they be going after now to protect themselves against?
In the short-term, the company appears focused on Google Glass.
As the market comes to a close, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is trading up 0.38% at $802.73.