Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL) gapped up before the market opened on Thursday . The stock had previously closed at $31.29, but opened at $31.47. Western Alliance Bancorp shares last traded at $31.79, with a volume of 322,796 shares changing hands.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on WAL shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Western Alliance Bancorp from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 29th. Longbow Research raised shares of Western Alliance Bancorp from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $42.50 price objective (up previously from $41.00) on shares of Western Alliance Bancorp in a research report on Monday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $39.50.

The company has a 50-day moving average of $34.83 and a 200-day moving average of $33.37. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.26 billion and a PE ratio of 14.67.

Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by $0.04. The firm earned $157.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $164.23 million. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 45.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.45 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Western Alliance Bancorp will post $2.54 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Western Alliance Bancorp news, Director Donald D. Snyder sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.09, for a total value of $556,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 117,579 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,361,005.11. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Marianne Boyd Johnson sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.76, for a total transaction of $188,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 7,795 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $294,339.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds recently modified their holdings of WAL. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Western Alliance Bancorp by 540.3% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 423,685 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $15,194,000 after buying an additional 357,513 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board increased its position in Western Alliance Bancorp by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 728,855 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,137,000 after buying an additional 6,753 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its position in Western Alliance Bancorp by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,329,491 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $47,675,000 after buying an additional 94,131 shares during the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its position in Western Alliance Bancorp by 21.9% in the fourth quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 30,865 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,107,000 after buying an additional 5,546 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Western Alliance Bancorp by 9.3% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 299,700 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,747,000 after buying an additional 25,400 shares during the last quarter.

Western Alliance Bancorporation is a bank holding company. The Company provides a range of deposits, lending, treasury management and online banking products and services through its banking subsidiary, Western Alliance Bank (the Bank). The Company’s segments are Arizona, Nevada, Southern California, Northern California, Central Business Line (CBL), and Corporate & Other.

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