Peter Kafka

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Apple Unveils Cash Plan Monday Morning

Apple has around $100 billion in cash sitting on its books. What on earth will it do with it all?

Wall Street has been asking the company some version of this question for years, and now investors may get some kind of answer. Apple has announced a conference call to discuss its cash position — and only its cash position — tomorrow morning, at 9 am ET.

Here’s the entirety of the release:

“Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, and Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO, will host a conference call to announce the outcome of the Company’s discussions concerning its cash balance. Apple® will not be providing an update on the current quarter nor will any topics be discussed other than cash.”

Apple has been hinting for a while that some kind of announcement has been coming. Cook made two public appearances this year — during the company’s earnings call and at a Goldman Sachs-hosted investor conference — and both times he said Apple was debating what to do with its stockpile.

Here’s John Paczkowski’s summary of Cook’s comments at the Goldman event, where Cook spent a lot of time talking about cash:

“We’re in very active discussions at the board level on what we should do,” he said, adding that careful consideration is the guiding principle here. “We are not going to run out and have a toga party.”

“We are judicious in our spending,” Cook said. “We are deliberate. We spend our money like it is our last penny. … I think shareholders want us to do that. They don’t want us to act like we are rich.”

“I’d be the first to admit we have more cash than we need to run the daily business. So we’re actively discussing it. I only ask for a bit of patience, so we can do it in a way that’s best for the shareholders.”

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus