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Number Cruncher

Stock screens for investment ideas from professional investors. Exclusive to subscribers of Globe Unlimited.

(Jupiterimages/Getty Images)
(Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

Number Cruncher

The 20 richest, debt-free companies in the world Add to ...

What are we looking for?

Cash-rich companies with no debt – and other indications of safety.

Our search expands on last week’s Canadian screen to search for companies anywhere in the world.

For help, we turned again to Jamie Hynes, sales director with S&P Capital IQ.

How we did it

Mr. Hynes screened the S&P Capital IQ database for stocks listed on any major exchange with:

  • zero debt;
  • total cash and short-term investments of at least 10 per cent relative to total assets;
  • total assets of at least $100-million;
  • market capitalization of more than $1-billion;
  • positive free cash flow that is growing year-over-year.
  • To make sure these companies weren’t stockpiling cash because of obvious product challenges or legal problems, Mr. Hynes also added two qualitative factors:
  • Each firm had to have an average analyst recommendation of “hold” or better (1=buy, 3=hold, 5=sell);
  • Companies involved in lawsuits or legal issues over the past 12 months were excluded.

More about S&P Capital IQ

S&P Capital IQ offers a comprehensive set of tools for fundamental analysis of global securities as well as idea generation and workflow management.

Its Web- and Excel-based platform provides access to both real-time and historical information on companies, markets, transactions and people around the world.

What we found

Just 55 out of almost 18,000 stocks pass this demanding screen.

Our list shows the top 20 on the basis of year-over-year free cash flow growth.

Each company here offers a potent combination: significant cash on hand plus substantial free cash flow growth over the last year.

As always, you should do your own research before buying any of the names listed here.

Report Typo/Error

Cash-rich companies with no debt

Company Name Ticker Cash
(% of
Ttl Assets)*
(% ann.)
Shutterfly, Inc. SFLY-Q 13% 89 >1000
Maeda Rd. Construc. 1883-Tokyo 26% 608 789
BTG plc BGT-LSE 29% 239 539
Aruba Networks ARUN-Q 56% 378 499
Zebra Tech. ZBRA-Q 23% 210 357
Neogen Corp. NEOG-Q 29% 73 289
Lululemon LLL-T 54% 447 198
Lumber Liquidators LL-N 13% 40 169
Dragon Oil plc DGO-LSE 56% 2,059 161
Cyberonics Inc. CYBX-Q 51% 118 126

* Cash = Total cash and short-term investments
** 1=Buy; 3=Hold; 5=Sell.


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