Cisco's 10-year notes were sold Monday at two percentage points above Treasuries for a yield of 4.979%, while a 30-year portion of Cisco's offering sold for a yield of 5.916%. Cisco's strong financial position allowed it to secure reasonable rates.
While Cisco has nearly $30 billion in cash on their balance sheet, only about $3-4 billion is in U.S., so the debt offering helps Cisco avoid taxes associated with moving their cash in from overseas.
Cisco has raised debt only one other time in its history. This was when it used $6.5 billion in debt to purchase cable-box maker Scientific-Atlanta Inc. in 2006.