Apple has announced a conference call for tomorrow morning at 9 AM eastern time to discuss plans the company has for its large cash* stockpile. A recent Moody's analysis of corporate cash positions underscored why this is such a huge deal:
Apple alone represents $64 billion or 36% of the total $179 billion increase in corporate cash since 2009. And in 2011, overall corporate cash would have actually declined by $6 billion had it not been for Apple’s $46 billion increase. Unless Apple changes its philosophy towards liquidity by instituting a one-time or ongoing common dividend, or if Apple starts to buy back stock, we estimate Apple’s cash balances could increase by more than $50 billion in 2012 and approximate $150 billion.
Supported by our expectations that consumers worldwide will continue to feast on Apple products, we expect overall corporate cash and its concentration will increase in 2012. Apple alone could represent 12% of total corporate cash, about three times more than the next cash king.
Basically Apple all alone represents a very non-trivial share of the entire corporate sector's cash. It's a big enough share that this one company's decision can have macro consequences.