NEW YORK, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Brinson Patrick Securities Corporation, a boutique investment bank specializing in at-the-market (ATM) offerings, reported today that U.S. companies raised roughly $3 billion across all industries through ATMs in the first quarter of 2013, compared to $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2012. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130429/NY02685LOGO ) The $3 billion raised is 90% more than the $1.6 billion raised in the fourth quarter of 2012. Companies whose ATMs were active in the first quarter included: Energy Transfer Partners, (NYSE: ETP), Dallas, TX; Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE: HTA), Scottsdale, AZ; Targa Resources Partners, LP (NYSE: NGLS), Houston, TX; Xcel Energy, Inc. (NYSE: XEL), Minneapolis, MN. "The total ATM proceeds raised in the first quarter were the highest we have seen since 2009," said Todd Wyche, CEO of Brinson Patrick. "The upward trend continues with an increasing number of companies taking advantage of their rising stock prices with ATM offerings." An ATM provides an efficient means of raising equity capital over time by enabling a publicly traded company to tap into the existing secondary market for its shares on an as-needed basis. With an ATM, an exchange-listed company incrementally sells newly issued shares into the trading market through a designated broker-dealer at prevailing market prices, rather than via a traditional underwritten offering of a fixed number of shares at a fixed price all at once. ATMs are also generally less expensive and less complicated to execute than traditional equity offerings and do not require a lot of executive time.