Apple raises $17 billion through record-breaking bond sale
Largest company by market cap worldwide
The money will fund Apple's plans to buy back $60 billion worth of stock by the end of 2015, and increase quarterly dividends by 15 percent.
Although Apple has cash reserves of $145 billion easily enough to fund its plans without taking on debt more than $100 billion of that total is held overseas.
Rather than incurring the tax expense of repatriating those funds, then, Apple is taking advantage of low interest rates to fund its plans.
Policy of appeasement
Apple's share price has dropped considerably in the last nine months, falling from $702.10 at its September 2012 peak to $390.53 a few weeks ago.
What's more, Apple's latest financial results released last week showed the company's first year-on-year profit decline in a decade.
As such, Apple is looking to appease concerned shareholders by effectively sharing some of its considerable war chest, and taking steps to increase the value of its shares once again.
In the last week, Apple's share price has risen steadily, and the company's market cap has increased to to $416 billion, making it once again the largest publicly-traded company in the world.
[source: BBC News]