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Howard Bancorp Inc. plans to raise $30 million through a public offering of more common stock.

The Ellicott City-based parent company of Howard Bank said it will use the proceeds to boost the bank's capital for lending and investment, to repay debt and to support future acquisitions.

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Howard's stock is traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol HBMD. The bank's stock was up 2.29 percent Wednesday morning, at $15.85 a share.

The offering is being underwritten by Raymond James & Associates.

In its latest earnings report, released Jan. 20, the bank reported a profit of $953,000 in the fourth quarter. For the full year of 2016, Howard reported net income of $5.14 million, up from $1.02 million in 2015.

Howard's fourth quarter and year-end financial results were boosted by organic growth of assets, loans and deposits, the bank said. As of Dec. 31, Howard had just over $1 billion in assets.

The bank has branches, commercial offices and mortgage offices throughout the Baltimore region.

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