Apple has how much cash?

It’s been a whole six months since Apple reported a record cash hoard. Now the company is expected to report Tuesday that the pile has grown even larger — to more than $250 billion.

That’s higher than the market value of humongous companies such as Wal-Mart, and nearly equivalent to that of General Electric.

That would also mean the iPhone maker would have doubled its cash pile in about 4 1/2 years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apple is scheduled to report second-quarter results Tuesday, and to give an update about the company’s massive cash hoard.

Talk about how much cash Apple has usually fuels speculation about possible acquisition targets. The names thrown around have included Disney and Twitter; now some analysts are mentioning Tesla and Netflix.

Also, how much money Apple holds overseas always makes for interesting water-cooler talk: In October, CFO Luca Maestri said 91 percent of the company’s $237.6 billion hoard was parked outside the United States. That number is likely to be more closely watched than ever after President Donald Trump’s promise to entice companies to repatriate their cash with a lower tax rate and CEO Tim Cook’s plans — which he mentioned in the fall — to bring “billions” back to the United States this year.

Analysts expect Apple to report earnings of $2.02 a share, up 6.3 percent from the year-ago quarter. Their estimates about how many iPhones the company sold are all over the place, with the most optimistic pegging the sales to have grown about 4 percent.

Apple shares are up about 2 percent today to $146.51 and are trading at a record high. They are up more than 50 percent since last May as investors seem to be feeling optimistic about what the company has up its sleeve for the iPhone’s 10th anniversary in September. (Bloomberg has reported that Apple will unveil upgraded versions of the current models, as well as an iPhone with a redesigned look.)

That’s different from the sentiment about Apple a year ago, when iPhone sales were slowing. In fact, in the newly published Mercury News’ special report on Silicon Valley’s top 150 public companies by revenue, Apple actually dragged the SV150 down because its 2016 sales and profit fell from the year before.

But now, “everyone expects Apple to cure cancer with their next product launch,” Kevin Landis, chief executive of Firsthand Funds, told the New York Times.

 

Photo: An Apple store in Hangzhou, in the Zhejiang Province of China, in 2016. (VCG via Getty Images)

 

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