Apple has so much cash. It really doesn’t have to raise additional capital yet every single year it issues new common stock. Why is that?

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    Where are you seeing Apple issuing stock? They've been issuing debt and using it to buy back stock. – D Stanley Jan 16 at 20:27
  • @DStanley why debt when they have so much cash? Is it because they'd have to first repatriate the cash and pay taxes on it? – RonJohn Jan 16 at 21:46
  • @RonJohn Partly, and partly because they can borrow money for next to nothing. – D Stanley Jan 16 at 21:51

Apple offers share options as an incentive for its employees. When the employees exercise the options, the shares have to come from somewhere.

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    The question is whether Apple issues new shares to do that, or whether they buy back existing shares in order to pass out to employees. – RonJohn Jan 16 at 21:44
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    The shares may always have existed, not released for sale but held to distribute to employees over time. – chepner Jan 17 at 0:49
  • @RonJohn, I believe the stock issued to employees and the stock purchased in the buyback program are uncorrelated, although they do, of course, offset each other. – prl Jan 18 at 17:56

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