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Nordic American Tanker shares fall on stock offer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shares of Nordic American Tankers Ltd., which leases shipping tankers, fell sharply Tuesday after the company announced the sale of nearly 10 million shares at a discount of almost 13 percent to their most recent closing price.

THE SPARK: Nordic American said in a statement it would offer 9.75 million common shares at $9.60 each. Its shares had finished at $11.02 on Monday. The company said proceeds from the sale would be used to expand its fleet and for general corporate purposes. The sale is expected to close on April 5.

The underwriters were also given the chance to buy another 1.36 million shares at the same price in case demand was strong enough.

THE BIG PICTURE: The Hamilton, Bermuda-based company owns 20 large hull tankers. The company has also entered a preliminary agreement to acquire another Suezmax tanker, scheduled for delivery by May 2013. The company says it is also considering additional purchases of shipping vessels.

SHARE ACTION: Company shares fell $1.14, or 10.3 percent, to $9.88 in midday trading Tuesday. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $8.15 to $15.96.