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Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 05:16 am PT (08:16 am ET)

Apple sells $12 billion in US bonds to fuel capital reinvestment

Apple fueled excitement among investors on the U.S. bond market this week, when the company brought forward a highly sought after seven-part bond offering valued at $12 billion to help fund its share repurchase plans.




The bond sale issued on Tuesday was less than the $17 billion the company sold in a record setting offering a year ago. But investors believe that Apple isn't done yet, as the company signaled during its quarterly earnings conference call last week that it would likely raise "an amount of term debt financing similar to what we used in 2013," Corporate Comptroller Luca Maestri said.

The expectation is that in addition to Tuesday's $12 billion bond sale, the iPhone maker also plans to turn to foreign debt markets. This would allow the company to diversify its base, and to prevent saturation of the U.S. debt market with such a large sale.
With its U.S. sale completed, investors believe Apple may now turn to foreign markets for debt.
Investors believe Apple is waiting to come to market with potential issues in euros or sterling in the near future, according to Reuters. It is rumored that Apple will target the eurozone for low interest rates on an additional bond offering of around $7 billion.

For now, Apple's $17 billion sale from a year ago marks the second-highest bond offering in corporate history. At the time Apple held the record, but it was eclipsed by Verizon's sale of $49 billion in binds later in 2013.

Tuesday's sale generated excitement, generating more than $40 billion worth of orders in midday trading. Apple's bonds are double-A-plus, which is the second-highest possible rating.

The company sold fixed-rate bonds that mature in three, five, seven, 10 and 30 years, along with three-and five-year floaters.

Though Apple has some $150 billion in cash, almost all of that — $130 billion — is held overseas. Executives from the company have signaled numerous times, including last week, that they have no plans to repatriate the overseas cash, citing high tax rates for bringing the money to the U.S.

As a result, Apple has sought out more cash to increase its share buyback efforts, which are now totaled at $90 billion through the end of 2015. Apple initiated its massive capital reinvestment program to signal to investors that it is confident in the future of its business with continued strong iPhone sales and new products on the horizon.