Apple Hoards its $40 Billion in Cash

Apple Inc’s Chief Executive Steve Jobs told shareholders on Thursday the company’s huge cash balance offered it more flexibility and security, addressing questions over what the maker of the iPhone intended to do with its financial warchest.

Apple has given little indication of how it plans to use roughly $40 billion in cash and securities on its balance sheet.

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Given the company spends little on acquisitions, analysts and shareholders want Apple to put the money to work through a dividend or share buyback. But Jobs said if that were to happen, Apple’s share price would remain the same.

He said the company he founded was now big enough that it had to “think big” to move the needle.

Jobs, who skipped last year’s annual shareholders’ meeting

because he was on medical leave for a liver transplant, was warmly received by shareholders.

There were no major issues on the voting agenda for the meeting. Shareholders voted to re-elect all seven directors.

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from the board last summer and no one was nominated to replace him.

Shares of Apple were down 0.35 percent at $199.95.

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