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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Taking a Look at the Cash Hoarders

The Huffington Post details the top 11 cash hoarders.

Instead of building plants or hiring workers, corporate America is clinging to its cash.Companies are sitting on $1.93 trillion in cash and liquid assets, the highest level since 1959, the Wall Street Journal reports.

With high unemployment and families still limiting their spending, corporate America is backing away from expansion. But with interest rates on the heaps of cash so low, that $1.3 trillion might as well be stuffed in a mattress.

Below is a chart of the cash levels for 10 of the 11 (I excluded GM as they don't have 12 month's of positive earnings), the earnings yield of each company (defined as the inverse of the P/E ratio), and the adjusted earnings yield that backs out the cash from the corporation's market value to determine the earnings power of the company less cash (normally you would have to account some earnings to the cash, but in the current environment, that is minimal).

Note that all cash data is directly from Huffington Post and Google Finance (I did not go through financials) and is presented without analysis or determination as to whether any of the figures should be adjusted for any reason. That said, if the cash is returned to investors via dividend or buyback OR the cash is put to good use, corporations appear cheaper than they might first appear.