Western Alliance Bancorporation Earnings: Swing to a Profit but Still Misses Estimates

Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Western Alliance Bancorporation, through its subsidiary banks, provides a range of banking and related services to businesses, professional firms, real estate developers and investors, local nonprofit organizations, high net worth individuals, and consumers.

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Western Alliance Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter.

Results: Reported a profit of $7.1 million (7 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The Pacific regional bank had a net loss of $10.8 million or a loss of 18 cents per share in the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: WAL fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 9 cents per share.

Quoting Management: Robert Sarver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Western Alliance Bancorporation, said, “We are very pleased with our 2011 results as we substantially increased loans to small businesses, produced consistent quarterly net income while growing net interest margin and improving our efficiency ratio. Asset quality improved throughout the year as nonaccrual, watch, and classified loans all declined from the prior year.”

Key Stats:

The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with expectations the quarter before with net income of 6 cents.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved down from 12 cents a share to 11 cents over the last ninety days. The average estimate for the fiscal year is now 22 cents per share, down from 23 cents sixty days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Community Bancorp (CBONQ), Guaranty Bancorp (NASDAQ:GBNK), High Country Bancorp, Inc. (HCBC), Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ:ZION), People’s United Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBCT), Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC), First State Bancorp., NM (FSNM), CoBiz Financial Inc (NASDAQ:COBZ), Heritage Oaks Bancorp (NASDAQ:HEOP), and Wilshire Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WIBC).

Stock Performance: Shares of WAL were down 0.9% from the previous close.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com