Top Cash Holders in the S&P 500
Amgen (AMGN), the largest independent biotech company, is sitting on $30 billion in cash. The company paid its first quarterly dividend in September 2011. Since then, it has raised it 182% to $0.79 a quarter.
In the four years ended 2014, AMGN spent $14 billion on research and development, not surprising for a company that depends on new biotechnology products for growth. It currently has 11 new major biotech drugs in its pipeline and six biosimilar products (the biotech version of generic drugs). Amgen expects to launch its first biosimilar drug in 2017.
Over the past four years, the company has had $3 billion in capital expenditures, mainly to streamline its manufacturing processes. New facilities, expected to be operational in 2017, will be roughly 80% smaller than existing operations, but with the same capacity. Amgen says its new manufacturing technologies will have 25% lower capital costs and will take half the time to construct.
In the four years ended 2014, the company spent $14 billion on share buybacks, though no shares were repurchased last year.