Could Apple buy Netflix or Tesla? Citigroup thinks so

Analysts often dream about spending Apple’s growing cash pile by listing which company’s Apple could acquire, and this week Apple’s cash reserves climbed past a quarter trillion dollars at $256.8 billion. In response, Citigroup analyst Jim Suva has listed both Netflix and Tesla as takeover targets for Apple…

Sony A6500

Reuters reports that Suva included seven companies as potential M&A targets for Apple: Netflix, Disney, Tesla, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take Two Interactive Software, and Hulu.

The idea in part, as Citi has highlighted before, is that Apple may be more likely to do something with its cash pile which is mostly overseas if the Trump administration offers corporations a tax holiday as expected.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has talked about the need for corporate tax reform (and a lower tax rate) as recently as this week, although he has been cool on large company acquisitions:

In terms of large acquisitions… we have looked at large companies. In each case, it didn’t pass our test for various reasons. We will look again, I’m sure we will. I think we have the management talent and depth to do it. We don’t feel pressure to acquire revenue…we want to make great products. Cash is not burning a hole in our pocket.

One exception is Beats Electronics which Apple acquired for $3 billion as the foundation for Apple Music and the expansion of its audio business.

However unlikely a major acquisition by Apple of any of the companies listed by Citi may be, the firm certainly isn’t alone in predicting Apple could use its cash for a big company takeover. Last month RBC similarly floated the idea of Apple buying Disney to create ‘unique opportunities’ although the firm only described the likelihood as ‘greater than 0%.’

Reuters doesn’t give Citi’s analyst much credit either:

The analyst is rated three out of five stars for his recommendations on Apple, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine.

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