One of the recurring themes in the tech sector is whether companies are hoarding too much cash. Microsoft
However, partially because of fears brought about by the recession, we've seen a number of firms once again cramming their cash drawers beyond capacity. That can be bad for investors, since that cash is usually earning short-term rates. If companies don't have a use for the money, they could give it back to investors, to allocate it as they see fit.
The most notable of these cash-clutchers is Apple
There are signs that other tech companies are loosening their grip on their accumulated wealth. Both Cisco
All in all, tech companies are probably stiffing shareholders a bit by keeping capital they're not using on the balance sheet at really low rates. However, big companies -- Cisco, Oracle, IBM, and probably even Microsoft -- might start using that lucre for M&A in the coming quarters.
To Apple and Jobs, my advice is this: Do what's right for shareholders. Pay a dividend.
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