Corporations hold cash for a variety of reasons, including timing the price of growth-related assets, running day-to-day operations, conducting acquisitions, holding for future investment or acting as a precaution against market uncertainty.
If a company holds more cash or highly liquid assets as a large proportion of its total assets - and relative to its peers - investors may draw insight into the size and scope of a company's future investments.
To get an idea of the companies that are holding the most cash, the CNBC analytics team looked at cash and short term investments held by S&P 500 companies, using data from Capital IQ and Thomson Reuters. The amount was compared to the total value of assets of each company. Companies listed in this slideshow are also divided by sector, since some industries by nature will have vastly different cash holdings when compared to others outside their peer group. For the purpose of this slideshow, "liquid assets" are defined as total cash and short term investments held by an individual company.
So, which S&P 500 companies are the most cash-rich in their sector? Click ahead to find out!
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By Giovanny Moreano & Paul Toscano