Apple Inc. (AAPL) saw a bad July-September quarter this year as not only its profits, but its cash and investments also dropped. Of all the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500, Apple’s pile of cash and investments is the highest. In the September quarter, it declined marginally by 0.5% and is now at $231.2 billion, notes USA Today.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s cash and investments have been declining since the first quarter of 2016. There are several reasons contributing to the drop in cash reserves, such as Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s aggressive plan to buy back stock and pay dividends and also the 11% drop in quarterly profits. The iPhone maker spent $9.3 billion on dividends and stock buybacks during the quarter.
The irony is that cash reserves are on a decline, while debt is rising at a very fast rate. In the September quarter, Apple’s long-term debt was reported at $75.4 billion, up 41% on a year-over-year basis, notes USA Today. Apple Inc. (AAPL) intends to avoid taxes, and piling on debt helps it do so.
Other technology companies also do this. When they borrow in the U.S., they are able to leave cash parked overseas and are avoid the tax that would be due if they bring it home.
Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s revenues have been on a decline for the past three quarters. For the September quarter, revenues came in at $46.9 billion, down by 9% from a year earlier. All of the company’s key products were down too. The company sold 45.5 million iPhones, which is down 5.2% YoY; 9.3 million iPads, which is down 6%; and just 4.9 million Macs, marking a massive decline of 14%.
Apple wasn’t in full form for the September quarter. The new iPhone and watch were on sale for a relatively few days during the quarter, and the Mac lineup hasn’t been updated yet. However, since Apple Inc. (AAPL) is bringing in a whole new lineup of products in just about all its product categories and the holidays are also just around the corner, the December quarter should be a strong one for the company.
“We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our Services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record,” Tim Cook said in a press release.
On Tuesday, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares closed up 0.51% at $118.25. Year to date, the stock is up more than 10%, while in the last year, it is down by about 1%.