Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) has completed the largest corporate bond sale ever, a $17 billion offering that investors made a meal of.
A week after announcing its first drop in quarterly earnings in a decade, Apple came to market with the deal to raise funds for a program that will return $100 billion in cash to shareholders, according to Reuters.
Taking advantage of a sharp decline in Treasury interest rates, Apple borrowed the money in six chunks. The offering attracted more than $50 billion of orders by midday in New York, Reuters reports.
"Apple made its intentions clear that this deal is for shareholder-friendly activity, but they have tremendous metrics and brand recognition," Rajeev Sharma, portfolio manager at First Investors Management Co, told IFR. "Apple is something everyone wants in their portfolio."
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It was Apple's first bond offer in nearly 20 years, the Journal reports. The $17 billion size tops the previous biggest single deal, according to Thomson Reuters/IFR data -- a $14.7 billion deal from Abbott Laboratories spin-off AbbVie in November 2012.