Apple's Cash On Hand: 9 Things The Company Could Pay For (SLIDESHOW)
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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.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/25/facebook-trades-shares_n_1230034.html?ref=technology" target="_hplink">Rumor suggests</a> that the social network may IPO at or around a $100 billion valuation.
216 Missions To Mars
<a href="http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/pao/faq/faqanswers.htm" 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="http://www.finaid.org/loans/ " target="_hplink">issued each year by the federal governemnt</a>.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Writedown Loan
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/23/fannie-freddie-writedown_n_1224608.html" 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="http://www.asymco.com/2011/11/24/apple-could-buy-the-mobile-phone-industry-updated/" target="_hplink">had a combined value of $78 billion.</a>
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/24/apple-market-value_n_1229605.html?ref=technology" 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="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/germany-plans-976-billion-in-budget-cuts-2010-06-07" target="_hplink">$97.6 billion in budget cuts</a> before 2014.
<strong>Cleaner Air</strong> In September, President Obama withdrew pollution-lowering regulation due to prohibitively high cost. The measure <a href="http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/09/02/obama-axes-ozone-rule-revamp/" target="_hplink">would have cost U.S. businesses from $20 to $90 billion.</a>
With a loan of less than $3 billion, Apple could pay off <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTmXHvGZiSY" 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="http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19630121&id=D3ZQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_RAEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5665,1077014" target="_hplink">paid out $97.6 billion in foreign aid.</a>
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