Microsoft, Walgreen, Cisco Systems and William Wrigley have something in common that may surprise you. None of them has any debt.
That lead, from a USA Today article, caught my eye today.
"What kills companies is debt," Peter Andrew, an analyst at A.G. Edwards, told the newspaper. "Without debt, companies have the financial wherewithal to survive."
The largest debt-free companies, in terms of revenue, are: Microsoft, Walgreen, Cisco Systems, Gateway, CDW Computer Centers, Family Dollar Stores, Ross Stores, Gevity HR, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Bed Bath & Beyond and Hobby Lobby.
"Cisco has never borrowed money and doesn't plan to," the article notes. "The networking company uses the cash it generates to fund expansion. Not having debt helped Cisco hold up much better than rivals during the vicious downturn."
"Unlike companies such as WorldCom, US Airways and Vivendi Universal, which have choked on their debt loads, companies that avoided the temptation to borrow during the boom are looking smart."
Don't get me started on the national debt.
Being the Dave Ramsey fan that I am, I wonder: Do any Crossroads businesses operate debt-free, and how did they fare during the recession?
If you are a debt-free business owner, or know someone who is, please contact me. I'd like to share your story and lessons. I'd also like to talk to owners of businesses that operate under heavy debt loads.
You can reach me at 361-580-6519, email@example.com or in here.
Thanks for the input,
Gabe Semenza / Advocate public service editor
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