Lots of people are making much of Google’s filing earlier this month to try to avoid, given its nearly $10-billion cash holdings, being regulated like a mutual fund. While I see the entertainment value in the news, and I too am in awe at the company’s cash-spinning capacity, I read this more as a reminder of how technology companies continues to collect cash, rather than dividend it back, even when they have no idea what to do with all the money.
I mean, does anyone really think Google is building cash for some billion-dollar-plus acquisition, or that its capex plans are set to accelerate so much that it needs a multi-billion buffer on its balance sheet? I know I don’t buy it. Technology companies remain the Scrooge McDucks of business: Building cash piles just because they can, shareholders be damned.