10 companies with zero debt

Throughout the financial crisis, large debt loads weighed on company balance sheets and had serious implications for the firms that let their borrowing get out of control.

Other companies, however, have a history of operating with low debt levels, and many choose to issue no debt at all. Instead of debt, these companies hold cash and liquid investments in order to make acquisitions, investments and to run daily operations.

Although too much debt can quickly turn into a problem, zero debt does not always translate to a rising stock price, as you can see from the historical data provided in the following pages. Regardless, some companies have been successful in turning their zero-debt situation into a very favorable operating model.

With data from Capital IQ drawn from the most recent quarterly statements across the S&P 500, here are 15 companies that report having no debt on their balance sheets.

10- Expeditors Int’l of Washington (EXPD)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.042 billion
YTD stock price performance: +14.84%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +10.32% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -25.54% share price
2009: $0 total debt, +4.51% share price

9- Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK)

Total debt: $0
Cash & ST investments: $1.059 billion
YTD stock price performance: +4.76%

Historical Debt and Price Levels, Per Year
2007: $0 total debt, +22.99% share price
2008: $0 total debt, -60.51% share price
2009: $52m total debt, +29.31% share price



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