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Apple Can’t Top Microsoft in $17 Billion Sale: Corporate Finance

Apple Inc. paid higher interest rates on a record $17 billion bond sale than Microsoft Corp. did a week ago as the iPhone maker’s slowing growth overshadowed annual cash flow that’s more than twice the amount of the issue.

While Apple matched an unprecedented low coupon of 0.45 percent for corporate three-year debt yesterday, investors demanded higher yields for the fixed-rate portions of five, 10-and 30-year securities relative to U.S. Treasuries than similar-maturity notes Microsoft issued on April 25. Apple, which gets more than half of its sales from the iPhone, plans to use the money to help finance $100 billion in dividends and buybacks after its shares plunged 44 percent in seven months.