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Apple's Cash On Hand: 9 Things The Company Could Pay For (SLIDESHOW)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 01/25/2012 10:48 am   Updated: 01/26/2012 2:35 am

Apple Inc on Tuesday announced record-setting earnings for the fiscal quarter spanning the months of October through December 2011.

Among the highlights were iPhone sales: 37 million in total, which the AP reports as “double the figure of the previous quarter and more than twice as many as [Apple] sold in last year's holiday quarter.”

The company also sold 15.43 million iPads during the quarter, which is a 111 percent increase over the same quarter last year, per Apple's official press release. Apple also sold 5.2 million Macs during the last three months of 2011.

The company posted a quarterly revenue of $46.33 billion and a quarterly net profit of $13.06 billion.

“We are very happy to have generated over $17.5 billion in cash flow from operations during the December quarter,” said Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, per the release.

Oppenheimer went on announce another stunning statistic: Apple now has $97.6 billion cash on hand. According to TechCrunch's live blog of the earning's call, Oppenheimer said that the money wouldn't "burn a hole in [Apple's] pocket," though he didn't hint at how the company would spend it.

Check out our slideshow below to see a few things Apple's mountain of cash could pay for.

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  • Facebook

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Rumor suggests</a> that the social network may IPO at or around a $100 billion valuation.

  • 216 Missions To Mars

    <a href="" target="_hplink">The Kennedy Space Center estimates</a> that the average cost of a mission to Mars is $450 million.

  • A Year Of American Students' Loans

    Apple could just about cover the more than $100 billion in student loans that are <a href=" " target="_hplink">issued each year by the federal governemnt</a>.

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Writedown Loan

    <a href="" target="_hplink">From Reuters</a>: "The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac told lawmakers that forcing the two mortgage firms to write down loan principal would require more than $100 billion in fresh taxpayer funds."

  • Rival Phone Makers

    Apple can afford to buy Samsung, HTC, Nokia, RIM, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which in November 2011 <a href="" target="_hplink">had a combined value of $78 billion.</a>

  • California's Budget

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Reuters reports</a> that the State of California has a projected budget of $97.6 billion for the next year.

  • Germany's Budget Cuts

    The European nation plans to make <a href="" target="_hplink">$97.6 billion in budget cuts</a> before 2014.

  • Cleaner Air

    <strong>Cleaner Air</strong> In September, President Obama withdrew pollution-lowering regulation due to prohibitively high cost. The measure <a href="" target="_hplink">would have cost U.S. businesses from $20 to $90 billion.</a>

  • The World

    With a loan of less than $3 billion, Apple could pay off <a href="" target="_hplink">"Austin Powers" villain Dr. Evil, who demanded a $100 billion ransom on the world.</a>

  • BONUS: 17 Years Of Foreign Aid

    Between 1946 and 1963 the United States <a href=",1077014" target="_hplink">paid out $97.6 billion in foreign aid.</a>

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