Please help me with a cash flow analysis of Apple Computers.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In order to do a cash flow analysis of Apple Computers, you will need to know two main types of things.  First, you need to know what a cash flow analysis is.  Second, you need to know where to find the information needed to create a cash flow analysis of Apple Computers.

You can read about what a cash flow analysis is in this link.  Basically, it is an analysis that looks at when a business will be getting inflows of cash (and how much those inflows will be) and compares that to when the business will be experiencing outflows of cash.  This is not a measure of whether the business is profitable.  Instead, it is an analysis of when the business will have cash on hand and when it will need to find sources of short-term cash to tide it over until it receives further inflows.

In order to do a cash flow analysis, you have to have a cash flow statement.  This document shows the firm’s inflows and outflows (actual values for the past and expected values for the future) from a variety of sources.  The cash flow statement generally looks at inflows and outflow from three sources.  These are 1) operations (from daily business activities like getting paid by customers and paying money out to suppliers); 2) investment activities (buying and selling assets); and 3) financing activities (borrowing money, selling stock).  The total of these three is the cash flow for a given period.

Now, you need to know where to find financial information for Apple.  There are a number of financial sites that provide publically-available records that can help you to conduct a cash flow analysis.  For Apple, for example, you can use this site or this site.

As you can see, Apple has generally had positive cash flows.  However, this does not mean that they have had positive cash flows in every quarter of every year.  We can see, for example, that Apple had negative cash flows in two of the past four quarters.  This is true even though they had a very positive cash flow for the year as a whole.

This should give you the information you need to get started on a cash flow analysis of Apple Computers.

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