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So much has already been written about corporate America's growing pile of cash. Non-financial companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 have a record $837 billion in cash, according to S&P.

"Rather than investing in their future, companies are piling up cash and collecting practically zero interest on the money, hoping there will be a better time to invest later," writes Matt Krantz in USA Today.

"Managers are being overly conservative until they're positive the crisis is over," says Kathleen Kahle, professor of finance at the University of Arizona. "They don't want to invest and add jobs, so they're delaying and don't want to be the first movers."

To illustrate this idea, we calculated Cash Per Share / Price values for all the S&P 500 companies, and the distribution of values looked like this (click for expanded images):

As the histogram shows, most companies have cash/share values ranging between 5% to 10%. So, based on current market valuations, the cash holdings don't seem that significant.

And, as The Economist points out, America’s corporate cash pile looks less impressive when set against its debts.

Firms need to keep more cash in the kitty if they have large debts because these are raised and repaid in lumps, said Andrew Smithers of Smithers & Co, a research firm. America’s non-bank companies held liquid assets worth around 23% of debt in the first quarter—a bit higher than the average of the past 40 years but still below the levels in 2006.

What do you think? How will firms end up using these cash piles? Share buybacks? Creating new jobs?

If you're looking for some investing ideas, here is a list of beaten up stocks with significant cash holdings. The screen is based on the following:

  • All stocks have a market cap north of $2B
  • Positive ROE and ROA (trailing twelve month values)
  • Current Ratios over 1.5
  • Cash/Share over 50%

Here is a visualization of analyst ratings and one-year return of all the stocks in the screen. More detailed analysis follows below.

1. Liberty Media Interactive (LINTA): Catalog & Mail Order Houses Industry. Market Cap of $6.45B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.16, which implies that cash makes up about 86.21% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 1.57, and the stock has gained 9.2% over the last year.

2. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NASDAQ:GT): Rubber & Plastics Industry. Market Cap of $2.44B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.45, which implies that cash makes up about 68.967% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 1.74, and the stock has lost -44.48% over the last year.

3. Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (OTCPK:MITSY): Conglomerates Industry. Market Cap of $24.51B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.55, which implies that cash makes up about 64.52% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 1.8, and the stock has gained 1.4% over the last year.

4. CNH Global NV (NYSE:CNH): Farm & Construction Machinery Industry. Market Cap of $6.90B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.57, which implies that cash makes up about 63.69% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 1.92, and the stock has gained 52.89% over the last year.

5. Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ:SNDA): Multimedia & Graphics Software Industry. Market Cap of $2.66B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.58, which implies that cash makes up about 63.29% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 6, and the stock has lost -12.13% over the last year.

6. The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES): Electric Utilities Industry. Market Cap of $8.41B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.83, which implies that cash makes up about 54.64% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 1.5, and the stock has lost -23.7% over the last year.

7. Tellabs Inc. (NASDAQ:TLAB): Communication Equipment Industry. Market Cap of $2.66B. Price / Cash per Share ratio of 1.87, which implies that cash makes up about 53.48% of the stock's price. The company's current ratio stands at 3.17, and the stock has gained 11.65% over the last year.

Disclosure: No positions

Source: Corporate America's Growing Pile of Cash: 7 Investing Ideas