Cash & short-term investment balances (ex-Financials) rose by $48.7 billion (4.1%) sequentially and settled at a balance of $1.23 trillion for Q3 2012. On a year-over-year basis, cash growth of 5.8% marked the fifth consecutive quarter of single-digit growth and the second slowest year-over-year growth since Q3 2008. As previously reported in “Cash & Investment Quarterly”, cash balances accelerated rapidly in the period from Q4 2008 to Q3 2011, but have slowed since then. Much of the rapid growth was due to isolated sectors—the Information Technology, Industrials, and Health Care sectors’ cash growth amounted to 85.5% of total index-wide growth during the high-growth period. In addition, coupled with increased debt issuance, aggregate cash to debt ratios have also declined. The S&P 500 ratio peaked at 0.426 in Q1 2011, but has fallen to 0.410 at the end of Q3.
Read more about the S&P 500 companies' trends in corporate cash balanaces in this quarter's edition of FactSet Cash & Investment Quarterly. Visit www.factset.com/cashinvestment to launch the report now.