* Stock sale to pay for portion of HSBC credit card acquisition
* Sees Q1 EPS from cont ops of at least $2.50 vs est $1.37
March 14 (Reuters) - Capital One Financial Corp said it would sell $1.25 billion of its common stock to pay for a portion of its acquisition of HSBC's U.S. credit card business and forecast a strong first-quarter profit.
Last August, the credit card company turned U.S. bank agreed to buy HSBC's domestic card business, including its $30 billion credit card portfolio, and had said it would raise capital to pay for the deal.
Separately, Capital One said in the first quarter it expects earnings per share from continuing operations of at least $2.50.
Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to post a profit of $1.37 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Capital One also said it expects its Tier 1 common ratio -- a measure of bank stability -- to be well above 11 percent at the end of the first quarter.
Shares of the McLean, Virginia-based company closed at $52.33 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.