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Are the region's biggest companies conserving enough cash for a recession?

If preserving cash is a must-do in a downturn, then some of the region's biggest companies might be in trouble.

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  • | 4:50 a.m. August 19, 2022
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Most public companies headquartered on Florida’s Gulf Coast had less cash on hand midway through 2022 when compared with the beginning of the year.

Will a smaller reserve hurt those companies if and when there is a prolonged economic downturn — or recession?

Out of the top 10 largest publicly traded firms by revenue, the one with the largest drop was Estero-based Hertz Global Holdings Inc. The car rental giant showed a decrease from slightly more than $2.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents on Dec. 31, 2021, down to just over $1 billion on June 30, 2022. Despite the decline, on an earnings call with investors, CFO Kenny Cheung said the balance sheet “remains very strong,” pointing to $2.5 billion in total liquidity, with the $1 billion in unrestricted cash being augmented by $1.5 billion available under the company’s revolving financing.

Read more: Recession conundrum reaches deep into the region, with multiplying impact

Despite the trend, some companies have increased cash stockpiles — namely Lakewood Ranch-based Roper Technologies Inc., which now has nearly $3 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand, after holding just $352 million at the end of last year. The company also recently completed a five-year, $3.5 billion revolving credit facility, making it “very well positioned for meaningful capital deployment,” per CFO Rob Crisci on the company’s most recent earnings call.

Across the largest 10 public companies in the region, the median change in cash from a year ago was a decrease of roughly 17%. The average was a 59% increase, but that number is pulled up sharply by Roper’s 719% gain.



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