(A) IBM (IBM)
(B) Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
(C) Intel (INTC)
(D) Google (GOOG)
(E) Apple (AAPL)
If you picked E, congratulations. Apple's $15.4 billion stash is indeed the biggest of the group, putting the iPod maker in the elite ranks of well-heeled Fortune 500 tech companies. (Only Microsoft (MSFT) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) stockpile more.) And lately the stacks have been rising fast; Apple has added $5 billion to its coffers in the past year alone, according to regulatory filings.
Unlike Microsoft and Cisco though, Apple (AAPL) doesn't pay a dividend, doesn't make big acquisitions, and doesn't buy back many shares. Last month the company reported that since 1999, it has spent a relatively paltry $217 million to repurchase stock, though its board has authorized $500 million for that purpose.
So what does CEO Steve Jobs have in mind for all those greenbacks?