The International Financial Review reports that Apple wowed the debt markets on Tuesday with the largest non-bank bond deal in history, offering a whopping US$17bn for sale as the US computer giant switches strategy to placate restless shareholders.
Just a week after announcing its first drop in quarterly earnings in a decade, Apple came to market with the massive deal to raise funds for an ambitious program that will return US$100bn in cash to holders of Apple shares.
Sources said investors could barely submit orders fast enough to get in on the deal from Apple, the only major tech company without a single penny of debt on its books.
The six-part all-dollar offering attracted more than US$50bn of orders by midday in New York – a massive level of demand even in the current red-hot climate of the bond markets.
Rajeev Sharma, portfolio manager at First Investors Management Co, told IFR that "Apple made its intentions clear that this deal is for shareholder-friendly activity, but they have tremendous metrics and brand recognition."
The massive deal caps a milestone week for Apple, which in seven days has changed tack to satisfy its investor base, becoming the world's biggest dividend payer and recapturing its mantle as the world's largest company by stock market value at US$413bn.
Apple's stock has rallied more than 12% in the past 10 days as a new class of income-oriented investor, enticed by its dividend yield of nearly 3%, snaps up shares. They rose more than 3% on Tuesday to over US$444.
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