Will cash-rich Apple make a megadeal?

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CUPERTINO, Calif. – As Apple’s (AAPL) stash of cash grows, so does the possibility that the company will use some of the money for a huge acquisition that would expand its empire beyond iPhones and other gadgets. In its latest quarterly report out Tuesday after the stock market closed, Apple reported that its cash reserves are now about $257 billion.

The guessing game primarily has focused on potential acquisitions of video streaming service Netflix (NFLX) and electric-car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA).

But in recent months the takeover talk has swirled around whether Apple might do something even more dramatic by trying to buy Walt Disney (DIS).

A marriage between Apple and Disney would create the world’s first company worth $1 trillion while uniting some of the world’s most successful brands in technology and entertainment.

Apple’s chief financial officer told the Associated Press that the company is looking at potential acquisitions of all sizes.

It’s earnings report for fiscal second quarter showed net income of $11.03 billion, or $2.10 per share.

The profit results beat Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $2.02 per share.

The maker of iPhones, iPads and other products posted revenue of $52.9 billion in the period, just barely topping Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $52.61 billion.

For the current quarter ending in July, Apple said it expects revenue in the range of $43.5 billion to $45.5 billion. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $45.05 billion.

Apple shares have climbed 27 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has risen almost 7 percent. After closing regular trading on Tuesday at $147.51, a rise of 58 percent in the last 12 months, the shares dropped 1.7 percent in late trading, falling $2.46 to $145.

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Source: CBS News – Moneywatch

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