Apple has filed to sell $5 billion in fixed and floating-rate debt with maturities of 7-years, 10-years and 30-years.

Apple first tapped the debt markets on April 30, 2013 in a record $17 billion sale. The timing of that move was absolutely sterling as benchmark 10-year yields nearly doubled in the 4 months after the issue. It might have been one of the greatest bond trades of all time.

AAPL bond sale

AAPL bond sale

The company has a gigantic cash hoard but some of it is difficult to repatriate because of US tax rules. Even if they could repatriate it, why not borrow a bit more at less-than 2%?

But before we crown the Apple treasury executives as the new bond kings. They issued euro-denominated debt on Nov 4 and even though the rates were ultra-favorable, they were a bit early as benchmark rates have moved 50 basis points lower since the sale.

Benchmark Treasury yields have moved higher since today’s announcement, as it crowds out some of the high-quality supply. If the Fed follows through and starts hiking rates at mid-year. This sale could be as well-timed as the last one.