15 Companies with Zero Debt


Throughout the financial crisis, large debt loads weighed on company balance sheets and had serious implications for the firms that let their borrowing get out of control.

Other companies, however, have a history of operating with low debt levels, and many choose to issue no debt at all. Instead of debt, these companies hold cash and liquid investments in order to make acquisitions, investments and to run daily operations.

Although too much debt can quickly turn into a problem, zero debt does not always translate to a rising stock price, as you can see from the historical data provided in the following pages. Regardless, some companies have been successful in turning their zero-debt situation into a very favorable operating model.

With data from Capital IQ drawn from the most recent quarterly statements across the S&P 500, here are 15 companies that report having no debt on their balance sheets.




15. Novell Inc (NOVL)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $979.6 million
YTD stock price performance: +48.67%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $600m total debt, +10.81% share price
2008: $126m total debt, -43.38% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +6.68% share price




14. Expeditors Int’l of Washington (EXPD)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.042 billion
YTD stock price performance: +14.84%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +10.32% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -25.54% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +4.51% share price



13. Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.059 billion
YTD stock price performance: +4.76%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +22.99% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -60.51% share price
2009: $52m total debt, +29.31% share price




12. Cognizant Tech Solutions (CTSH)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.433 billion YTD stock price performance: +20.14%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -12.03% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -46.79% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +151% share price



11. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.644 billion
YTD stock price performance: -2.56%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -22.86% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -13.51% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +51.89% share price



10. Electronic Arts (ERTS)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.996 billion
YTD stock price performance: -13.46%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +15.98% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -72.54% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +10.66% share price



9. Broadcom Corp (BRCM)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.044 billion
YTD stock price performance: +17.32%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -19.10% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -35.08% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +85.44% share price



8. Juniper Networks (JNPR)

 Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.317 billion
YTD stock price performance: +0.07%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $400 million total debt, +75.29% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -47.26% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +52.31% share price




7. Gap Inc. (GPS)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.481 billion
YTD stock price performance: -11.79%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $513 million total debt, +9.13% share price
2008: $188 million total debt, -37.08% share price
2009: $50 total debt, +56.46% share price



6. Texas Instruments (TXN)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.305 billion
YTD stock price performance: -4.95%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +15.97% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -53.53% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +67.91% share price


5. Celgene Corp (CELG)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $2.952 billion
YTD stock price performance: -6.50%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $219m total debt, -19.68% share price
2008: $26m total debt, +19.63% share price
2009: $25m total debt, +0.72% share price



4. Forest Laboratories (FRX)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $3.322 billion
YTD stock price performance: -12.49%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, -27.96% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -30.12% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +26.07% share price




3. eBay (EBAY)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $4.528 billion
YTD stock price performance: -11.64%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $200m total debt, +10.4% share price
2008: $1b total debt, -57.94% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +68.55% share price





2. Apple (AAPL)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $23.155 billion
YTD stock price performance: 19.53%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +133.47% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -56.91% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +146.90% share price





1. Google (GOOG)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $30.059 billion
YTD stock price performance: -22.32%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +50.17% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -55.51% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +101.52% share price



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