* To offer $150 million in common stock
* Says offering through J.P. Morgan Securities
* Shares up as much as much as 15 percent
May 8 (Reuters) - E*Trade Financial Corp (ETFC.O), a U.S. retail brokerage under regulatory pressure to boost capital, on Friday said it plans to offer $150 million in common stock, sending its shares up as much as 15 percent.
The company said the sale of shares will be made from time to time at market prices and J.P. Morgan Securities will act as the distribution agent for the offering.
E*Trade has been under pressure to raise capital after posting heavy losses stemming from its home equity portfolio. The company lost $232.7 million in the quarter ended March 31, its seventh straight quarterly loss.
Late in April, the discount broker said the Office of Thrift Supervision told the company to “quickly” raise new capital for its bank and reduce the leverage of its holding company.
Moody’s Investors Service placed the company for a possible downgrade and said the broker’s mortgage portfolio was severely constraining its operating and financial fleixibility.
In late afternoon trade, E*Trade shares rose 26 cents or 15.4 percent to $1.95 on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Dinesh Nair, Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)