Apple to Decide How to Spend Extra $100 Billion

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A customer walks under an Apple logo sign at an Apple shop in Shanghai on February 22, 2012. Despite suffering a setback in a Shanghai court on February 23, Proview Technology, a financially strapped Chinese company has reportedly opened up a US front in its legal war with Apple over the iPad trademark. AFP PHOTO / Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: PETER PARKS/2012 AFP

Apple has $100 billion in cash lying around, and now they're going to figure out how to use it. Tonight the company released a rare media alert, alerting the press that on Monday morning at 9 a.m., Apple will reveal how it will spend its $97.6 billion in cash. Spoiler alert: It'll probably be spent on dividends. Basically, Apple will keep giving more money back to its exceptionally lucky shareholders. The company's stock rose to $600 per share on Thursday. Apple earns less than one percent interest on the sum, which some say is kept in Gingrotts Wizarding Bank.

In 2008, when Apple's share price was $160, Bloomberg predicted that Apple, which at that time had $20.8 billion in cash, "may well pass Microsoft, which has $23.7 billion in cash." And so they have. Although the dividend option seems the most likely, we can dream about what kind of fantasy-world real-estate deal Apple would close on with that kind of money.

When Google had $26.5 billion extra in 2010, it bought an eighteen-story office building, which occupies 2.9 million square feet on Eighth Avenue in New York and is referred to as Googleplex East. The deal cost Google about $1.9 billion, a tiny fraction of Apple's excess funds.

According to Forbes, which has a good breakdown of the ways in which a dividend deal could work, Apple has been trying to spend its money for years:

Apple could, has and will continue to invest in the business in various ways: making pre-payments to insure component supply, opening new retail stores and developing new products. The company is preparing to build a new office complex in Cupertino, and recently opened a large new data center in North Carolina. But for all that, the cash keeps piling higher and higher.

It's the ultimate first world complaint.