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Apple’s Embrace by Bond Market Prompts Calls for Sanity Check

  • The company has sold more than $80 billion of bonds since 2013
  • iPhone maker has been rewarding shareholders by borrowing
New Apple Watches On Display At The Fifth Avenue Apple Inc. Store
Photographer: John Taggart/Bloomberg

Debt investors’ irrepressible appetite for Apple Inc. turned the company into the biggest corporate-bond issuer in the world as it raised more than $80 billion in just four years. Now, some analysts are asking whether that’s too much, too fast.

On Thursday, Apple sold $7 billion of bonds, its seventh multi-billion dollar offering since 2013 and third this year. Investors flocked to the sale, allowing the iPhone maker to reduce yields it initially offered to pay on the securities. Bond buyers shrugged off concerns that the company might be borrowing too zealously to back share repurchases rather than financing the move by repatriating the $215 billion of cash it holds overseas.