Texas Instruments (NYSE:TXN) has done an impressive job paring its holding of auction-rate securities, slicing its holdings by $473 million, or nearly half. The remaining $551 million has been reclassified as long-term investments “due to reduced liquidity for these securities,” the company said in its first quarter earnings report.
If nothing else, TI’s disclosure shows just how dire the auction-rate market has become. As I noted back in February, TI was among the tech companies Merrill Lynch (MER) cited as having an unusually high amount of cash in what it thought could be credit-crunch-related risky investments.
TI, however, didn’t agree, with Investor Relations Manager Ron Slaymakerr telling me at the time that “we fundamentally disagree with Merrill’s report that Texas Instruments’ cash investments are risky. In many ways the analysis was oversimplified and even superficial.”
Or maybe — not!