Much is being made of Samsung’s hoard of cash, estimated at $28.5 billion once the South Korean conglomerate’s debt is taken into consideration. At any rate, the Galaxy maker has watched its net cash almost triple in the past year, thanks to double-digit profits fueled by the rising sales of its mobile division which makes smartphones and tablets.
In just three years, mobile phones have grown to be 74 percent of Samsung’s profits, overshadowing sales of LCD TVs and memory chips. On other words, three out of every four dollars Samsung earns come from mobile devices.
However, Apple remains the industry’s most-profitable player, retaining a $145 billion cash pile while offering anxious investors a $100 billion stock buyback. Is Samsung destined to follow Apple’s footsteps, or repeat the errors of other Asian giants, such as Panasonic, drowning in debt?