When Apple released its latest earnings report earlier this week, it said that it had $250 billion in cash stashed away, and as is usually the case when the company talks about its deep pockets, analysts are trying to spend it. This time, it’s Citi, which suggests that Tesla, Netflix and several other massive companies should be on Apple’s shopping list because, well, why not?
It certainly isn’t the first time someone has suggested a tie-up between the companies on this list, and isn’t it fun to spend Apple’s $250 billion?
Apple’s cash is stashed overseas
Apple has long kept most of its cash outside the U.S. to save money on taxes, and analysts have been speculating for months about what the company could do with all that cash if the Trump administration decides to offer a one-day tax holiday on repatriated cash. Analysts have been banking on a tax holiday since before Donald Trump was even inaugurated, and the tax plan his administration revealed last month suggested a 10% tax on repatriated profits, rather than the 35% they’re required to pay right now.
According to Reuters, Citi analyst Jim Suva said in a note that Apple has more than 90% of its cash outside the U.S. If the iPhone maker can bring it back home paying a one-time repatriation tax of 10%, it would have about $220 billion to use for acquisitions or share repurchases.
Apple could buy Tesla and Netflix
In addition to Tesla and Netflix, Suva also reportedly floated Activision Blizzard, Hulu, Take Two Interactive and Electronic Arts as potential acquisition targets for the iPhone maker. He came up with Tesla, Netflix and the others after screening for several areas: strategic fit, scale, size of transaction, probable impact on Apple stock, and a lack of non-strategic assets.
It doesn’t seem like he took into consideration things such as likelihood of making a deal, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is bent on making his company worth more than Apple, seems unlikely to be willing to sell. Indeed, he seems more interested in competing with the iPhone maker in a way, although for now, it’s simply a battle of the premium brands, given that they are in different markets.
As far as Netflix is concerned, we’ve heard other analysts suggest that Apple should buy it because of its interest in original video content. That seems more plausible than a tie-up with Tesla, although the size of the deal is probably enough to deter one from being done.