Prudential Financial Inc. says it has decided not to take part in the government’s capital purchase program and instead is turning to the stock market to raise needed funds.

Prudential, Newark, N.J., is offering $1.25 billion in common stock to obtain cash for general purposes, including possible contributions to some of its subsidiaries and repayment of short-term debt.

With the announcement, Prudential joints a string of insurers that have announced they will not join the Treasury Department’s troubled asset relief program, which the department has made available to a number of large financial firms stressed by bad investments.

In recent weeks, MetLife Inc., Allstate Corp. and Ameriprise Financial Inc. also announced they would not participate in TARP.