Many of the largest U.S. companies are "richer than ever," according to a report from Moody's. Of the 1,600 companies rated by Moody's, there was an 11.2% increase in cash held year-over-year. But the real question is: Why aren't companies spending?
Google demonstrated their wealth earlier this week, with their bold plan to buy Motorola for $12.5 billion cash -- a large sum, but only a fraction of their $35 billion-plus cash reserve. Unfortunately this scale of investment has become rare.
"The bottom line is that a large number of very successful U.S. companies are on a wait-and-see mode with the U.S. economy in particular," Dartmouth Business Professor Anant Sundaram told NPR.
At the end of 2010, Apple, Microsoft, and Cisco had each amassed over $40 billion cash. Why are companies sitting on this cash?
With interest rates so low, it is very cheap to borrow money and hold off paying down debts. But companies are also simply resistant to investment and rehiring, because the U.S. economy isn't growing enough to supply the demand.
The bright side is that, when the economy does pick up, these companies will likely use this cash to reinvest (hopefully in the U.S.).
Here we report a list of companies with fast growth in operating cash flows, measured by the ratio free operating cash flow/revenue. Do you think these companies will benefit more than most from the economic recovery?
Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis. List sorted by market cap. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
2. Philip Morris International
3. Bank of America
5. Bristol-Myers Squibb
6. CVS Caremark
7. Union Pacific
8. US Bancorp
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
Kapitall's Alexander Crawford does not own any of the shares mentioned above Free operating cash flow/revenue data sourced from Screener.co, all other data sourced from Finviz.