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>> Most people don't know it, but Apple has more than a quarter trillion dollars of cash sitting on it's balance sheet. And most of it is actually held overseas. I'm Stephen Nellis with Reuters News here in San Francisco. While the congressional tax bill just passed is mostly know for cutting tax rates for corporations, one thing that it will also do is make it much easier for companies like Apple.
To bring the cash that they hold overseas back to the United States. The reason that Apple kept most of this money overseas is that it felt that the current corporate rate of 35% was too high. So there's been a lot of speculation about what Apple might do if that rate were to come down.
Well, now it has. It will be 15.5% to bring that cash back to the United States as a one-time fee and then beyond that, there'll be a minimum tax in those foreign profits of 10.5%. So nobody knows exactly how much of its $250 billion in overseas cash Apple will bring back or what it would do with it.
But there's a few hints. First, it's got to pay that tax bill, which will be about $39 billion. The next thing that Apple might do is pay down the debt that it's incurred over the years, returning money to shareholders. Even though Apple was generating profits offshore, it wanted to give those profits back to its shareholders in the form of dividends and buy backs.
It couldn't do that because the money was offshore. So what it did was borrowed money and then used that capital to pay the shareholders and backing the debt with the money that was held overseas. So one of the first things Apple might do is look at paying off the $97 billion in debt that the company has run up to pay that money out to shareholders.
Beyond that, I think what we can expect, is for the company to make more investments, like the ones they recently made in its manufacturing partners like Corning in New York, and Finisar in Texas, and other investments around American manufacturing.