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CORAL GABLES, FL-BankUnited Financial Corp. expects to raise $74.3 million in net proceeds today on the sale of 5.7 million shares of common stock priced at $12 a share.

The Coral Gables-based parent of BankUnited FSB intends to use the proceeds for expansion and acquisition purposes. That could include expansion of branch-banking operations or possible acquisitions.

Announcement of the sale sparked a mini rally Monday, as common shares in the bank holding company closed up 80 cents, or 5.69%, at $14.85 on volume of 442,100. That is just 10 cents off the 52-week high of $14.95. Shares have traded as low as $6.12 on the Nasdaq National Market over the same time period.

The underwriter on this secondary stock offering, St. Petersburg, FL-based Raymond James & Associates, also exercised an over-allotment option to acquire another 855,000 shares also at $12 a share.

The secondary stock offering comes as a consensus of stock analysts tracked by Thompson/First Call expects the bank to earn 20 cents a share for the third quarter ended June 30. The company exceeded the consensus forecast of 18 cents by three cents a share for the second quarter ended March 31.

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