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Brigham Fights Back from Early Losses

Shares of Brigham Exploration, which recently hit a 52-week high, recover at midday Tuesday from an early morning decline triggered by a planned equity offering.

AUSTIN, Texas (


) -- Shares of

Brigham Exploration


recovered at midday Tuesday from a sluggish start to the week's second trading day. In fact, Brigham shares hit a new 52-week high by the midday market on Tuesday.

In the pre-market Tuesday, Brigham Exploration shares were down by more than 3%, and the shares opened down 3% also. Late on Monday, Brigham announced plans to issue 13 million shares of its stock to raise the capital to expand its drilling operations.

Brigham has 100 million shares outstanding, according to Google Finance -- the secondary offering would represent roughly 13% of the outstanding Brigham Exploration share count. While secondary offerings typically lead to a decline in share price based on market fears of share dilution, Brigham shares were up more than 2% by midday Tuesday, and the energy company reached its average daily trading volume at the midday mark.

Brigham Exploration shares have been on the rise in the past two months, after initial drilling results came back positive. In late January, Brigham shares were trading at $13, while at the close on Monday, Brigham shares were at $17.96. On March 2, Brigham shares had hit a 52-week high of $18.

The new Brigham 52-week high hit at midday Tuesday was $18.40, or a gain of 44 cents on Tuesday.

Brigham Exploration's initial 2011 exploration and development budget is $360 million, which includes $348 million in drilling expenditures.

Brigham intends to use the proceeds from the equity offering to increase the rigs running in the Williston Basin acreage from four to eight by May 2011 and drill a total of roughly 76 net Bakken and Three Forks wells during 2010 and 2011.

Credit Suisse Securities

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are acting as joint book-runners for the Brigham Exploration offering.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.


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