At this point, you're probably sick of hearing about Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) ridiculous cash hoard. We first started reporting about it last year when the iPhone and iPad maker's cash and investments were worth an estimated $82 billion. Well that number has now grown to nearly $100 billion -- $97.6 billion to be precise.


To put this in perspective, I thought it'd be fun to look at a handful of well-known companies that Apple's cash could buy outright. You may be surprised by the names.


Market Capitalization

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Bank of America $84.5 billion Add $81.4 billion Add
Disney $76.2 billion Add
Goldman Sachs $59.8 billion Add
Boeing $56.6 billion Add

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

If the company were so inclined, in fact, it could pay cash for any of 474, or 95%, of the companies listed on the S&P 500. And if it didn't want just one, then it could outright buy all 37 of the smallest companies on the index. With this in mind, perhaps the question I should have asked is: What couldn't Apple's cash buy?

All joking aside, however, if you're an Apple shareholder, then you may think it's about time to see some of that money returned by means of a dividend or share buyback. While you may not be that lucky, as Apple hasn't done either since 1995 and the late Steve Jobs was virulently opposed to doing both, it does seem that the company is on the verge of doing something with it. According to Bloomberg, at the company's annual meeting yesterday, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that it has more than it needs. And he's purportedly tasked his board with determining just what to do with it.

Leave a comment below about what you think Apple should do with its nearly $100 billion cash hoard -- and giving it all to me doesn't count. While you're here, I invite you to check out one of the newest free reports by our analysts at The Motley Fool. It reveals the identity of an up-and-coming company that's positioned to be one of the market's next multibaggers. To access this report while it's still available, click here now -- it's free.

Fool contributor John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Apple, and Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney,, Apple, and Goldman Sachs, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.