Apple’s massive $76 billion in cash reserves certainly seem impressive, but as Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune, it’s pocket change compared to what they could have in the future. Elmer-DeWitt suggests that, based on Apple’s current financial trends, that number could reach $94 billion by December, and up to $136 billion by the end of 2012.
Elmer-DeWitt’s report cites Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, who’s been keeping her eye on Apple’s holdings, and suggests that the best thing for Apple to do with the money is to repurchase shares or initiate a stockholder dividend.
According to Elmer-DeWitt, however, Huberty’s suggestion isn’t necessarily what’s in Apple’s best interests, but Morgan Stanley’s, as the firm has significant holdings in Apple and would directly benefit from a dividend program.
Personally, I don’t think having too much cash is really a problem for Apple, and using that cash as leverage to gain a preferred spot in the component supply chains and make more profit off of their products makes a lot more sense than finding a way to get rid of it.