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Too Much Cash Isn't Good for Apple

The Apple Inc. iMac desktop computer
The Apple Inc. iMac desktop computerPhotograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Apple is under fire from dissident shareholders for hoarding too much cash. The company is being sued by Greenlight Hedge Fund manager David Einhorn, who is attempting to get Apple to pay out most of its $137 billion in cash reserves to shareholders. Last week, Einhorn won a procedural injunction against Apple, and the issue is likely to come to a head at Wednesday’s shareholder meeting.

Apple is not the only company sitting on excess cash. Large corporations today are hoarding more cash than ever. S&P 500 companies today have cash and liquid investments on their balance sheets worth a record $1.23 trillion. That is up more than 50 percent from just four years ago.