Apple’s cash hoard swells to record $246.09 billion

Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, wrote in a letter to customers last week that he opposed the court order as an intrusion into customers’ privacy.
Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook 

Apple’s enormous cash hoard grew to $246.09 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, up $8.49 billion from the previous quarter.

That figure is larger than Sri Lanka’s estimated 2016 gross domestic product, but smaller than Denmark’s, according to the CIA World Factbook. If Apple’s cash pile was its own public company, it would be the 13th largest in the world.

The tech giant also reported earnings that beat Wall Street expectations on Tuesday and said it sold more iPhones than expected. The stock jumped more than 3 percent in after-hours trading as more than 6.8 million shares changed hands.

The company’s cash reserves have long fueled speculation of acquisitions that Apple might make. Apple keeps most of its cash outside the U.S. for tax reasons, but President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are expected to change rules on repatriation of cash stored overseas, which could make it easier for Apple to spend some of the money on acquisitions without taking a major tax hit.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC, “Repatriation is front and center. That is good for the country and Apple.”