EV = market cap
+ (debt + minority interest + preferred shares)
– (total cash and cash equivalents).
It’s that last bit that pushed Google (with $58 billion in net cash on the books) past Apple ($141 billion).
Of course, it’s unlikely that anyone is about take over either company. And as Eassa points out in Apple: This Is Ridiculous, “there is absolutely no contest as to who the real ‘boss’ is” in terms of generating cash. (See chart.)
His advice, not mine.