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Apple's $74B overseas cash hoard leads all U.S. tech companies

A report released on Monday from investment bank Moody's revealed that Apple leads a list of technology U.S. companies holding overseas cash with some $74 billion, up from $64 billion in December and $35 billion at the end of 2010.

In a note released to investors, Moody’s Investors Service’s Richard Lane cited SEC filings as well as his firm's estimates and said U.S. tech companies contributed $227.5 billion to a total of $457 billion in overseas cash held by American corporations at the end of the first quarter of 2012, reports Barron's.

Excluding Apple's $74 billion contribution overseas cash rose saw a year-to-year increase of 15 percent for the March quarter, but when the Cupertino-based company's assets are included that number jumps to 31 percent.

Following Apple was Microsoft with $50 billion in overseas cash and Cisco with $42.3 billion. Oracle and Qualcomm rounded out the top five with $25.1 billion and $16.5 billion, respectively. The top ten U.S. tech companies now own 83 percent of all offshore cash for the sector, up from 74 percent five years ago.

Only companies holding combined cash and liquid assets above $2 billion were taken into account as part of the report.

Apple's European headquarters in Cork, Ireland.

Apple's international business recently came under fire for avoiding U.K. taxes by operating out of its headquarters in Cork, Ireland as well as an offshoot in the Virgin Islands.