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Apple Inc.’s 17Bln ‘Bad Joke’ as Stock Rallies to $600

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By Athena Yenko | April 30, 2014 2:49 PM EST

With Apple Inc.'s announcement of its 130 billion repurchase programme and the seven-for-one stock split, Apple shares reached a 52-week-high of $595.98 on Tuesday. MarketWatch estimates that the stock's performance is geared towards 13 per cent gain monthly and will reach $600 in the coming months.

Seemingly, Apple Inc. is having a good month following its Q2 announcements.

"The stock is highly correlated with year-over-year revenue growth and this should accelerate meaningfully" Cowen & Co. analyst Timothy Arcuri, of Cowen & Co said.

"Apple became a stalled growth stock that is starting to show momentum again," analyst Steve Milunovich, of UBS said.

However, for the 130 billion repurchase program and the seven-for-one stock split to take place, Apple will be using borrowed funds - a bad sounding joke for Bloomberg writer Leonid Bershidsky.

Apple Inc. has $150 billion in cash pile yet plans bond amounting to $17 billion to make buybacks and stock split possible.

And why is that?

Luca Maestri, Apple's future chief financial officer explained that the strategy was made to avoid tax consequences under the United States tax law that might affect the company's shareholders.

"Thanks to Apple's strong growth and international expansion in recent years we've built substantial offshore cash balances. To repatriate our foreign cash under current U.S. tax law, we would incur significant tax consequences and we don't believe this would be in the best interest of our shareholders," Maestri said during the conference call.

Apparently, 88 per cent of Apple's cash amounting to $130 billion sits out of US. If the company takes this cash inside US, then a third of it will go down the drain in the form of tax.

In 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission asked Apple to explain the rationale behind its earnings lying outside the country. The company explained that the bulk of its earnings were acquired through Irish subsidiaries. The company explained that it "intended to be indefinitely reinvested in operations outside the U.S."

As deduced from the Bloomberg article, "If Apple issues debt in Europe, the proceeds could be used for the buyback, while the interest and principal owed to debt investors would be paid out of the Irish cash pile."

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