By Robbie Citrino for Kapitall.
"an abuse of our tax system" by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew,
Congress has been urged to pass legislation limiting companies'
ability to store cash and reincorporate overseas.
In an bid to avoid the high 35% corporate tax on profits in the
United States, over 50 large companies have reincorporated in
other countries-such as the UK where the tax is a more
reasonable 20%-in the
past 10 years
Companies in the
S&P 500 (
have also stashed
over $1.95 trillion
, a number that has increased 12% in the past year, with the
largest 22 making up more than half that amount.
President Obama, in many of his
State of the Union addresses
, has vowed to try and recover some of the funds, feeling that the
US government is owed taxes on money that is made
abroad. Unfortunately, Congress has does not share his
enthusiasm, and consequently not much has been
If Washington does manage to act,
an increasingly likely proposition
with mid-terms nearing, these five companies could see
over a third of their cash reserves disappear overnight: a
scary fact given the predicted rise in rates in coming years
will increase the cost of borrowing.
Investors should pay close watch to the US's move in the coming
weeks, but could the impact really be as large as these numbers
seem? Find out for yourself by using the tools below.
Click on the interactive chart to view data over
1. Apple Inc.
): Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile
communication and media devices, and portable digital music
players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals,
networking solutions, and third-party digital content and
applications worldwide. Market cap at $472.72B, most recent closing
price at $527.55.
Apple has stepped up the amount it holds abroad, nearly
quintupling it from $11 billion in 2010 to $54.4 billion today.
2. General Electric Company
): Operates as a technology, service, and finance company
worldwide. Market cap at $255.18B, most recent closing price at
The company has $110 billion in overseas accounts with a tax
liability as much as $38.5 billion.
3. Merck & Co. Inc.
): Provides various health solutions through its prescription
medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and
consumer care products. Market cap at $166.24B, most recent closing
price at $56.18.
Merck holds $57.1 billion overseas, choosing to invest in the
betterment of the healthcare industry rather than return $20
billion to a government that can't hold itself together enough to
prevent a shutdown.
4. Microsoft Corporation
): Develops, licenses, and supports a range of software products
and services for various computing devices worldwide. Market cap at
$313.81B, most recent closing price at $37.69.
Growing from around $30 billion in 2010 to around $76.4 billion
today, the tech giant has more than doubled its profits kept
overseas, keeping almost $27 billion in its own pocket.
5. Pfizer Inc.
): Pfizer Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, offers prescription
medicines for humans and animals worldwide. Market cap at $206.11B,
most recent closing price at $31.99.
The drug conglomerate keeps $69 billion outside the US, in turn
saving over $24 billion to reinvest into research for life-saving
(List compiled by Robbie Citrino. Offshore account figures
sourced from Bloomberg, all other data sourced from Zacks
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