While many analysts and investors consistently mention that Apple (AAPL) has the mobile industry’s best resources in the highest amount of net cash per share, it is actually Nokia (NOK) and Blackberry (BBRY) that have an even bigger cash pile on a percentage basis then Apple.
While it is true that Apple has the highest absolute net cash per share position at $146.00 per share in net cash, a much larger amount than Blackberry which has only $5.61 per share in net cash (and Nokia at just $1.85 per share of cash), when looking at this net cash per share number relative to each respective company’s stock price, it is actually Nokia that has the most on a percentage basis.
Net cash per share is important as it funds continued research and development to launch new products, provides working capital to run the business, can source dividend payments to shareholders, and can be used to make acquisitions. In our calculation above, we take the three items on these company’s balance sheet as of the most recent quarter which can hold cash and securities. We then net out the company’s long-term debt and put the resulting cash net of debt number over the company’s share count. Surprisingly, it is Nokia that screens best on this calculation with $1.85 of cash net of debt per share which is 46% of its current stock price of $4.00 per share. The recently renamed Research in Motion, now just called Blackberry, has the next highest amount with 35% of its $16.21 stock price in cash, or $5.61, per share in net cash. Apple actually screens the worst when compared to NOK and BBRY as its $146.17 per share in net cash is just 32% of its current $455.00 stock price.
While Apple is still a well resourced company with plenty of ability to conduct the many activities named above, it is interesting to know that its much talked about net cash per share balance is actually, on a percentage basis, smaller than NOK and BBRY. While investors have been gun-shy to buy Nokia stock because of its exposure to declining feature phones and have also been avoiding Blackberry because of low expectations for Blackberry 10, these companies are just as well resourced as Apple, the juggernaut in the mobile device industry.