Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL) shares gapped down before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $31.67, but opened at $31.96. Western Alliance Bancorp shares last traded at $32.80, with a volume of 337,145 shares trading hands.

A number of research firms have recently commented on WAL. 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 note on Monday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Western Alliance Bancorp from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $39.00 target price for the company in a research report on Saturday, April 2nd. Finally, 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. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $39.50.

The stock has a market capitalization of $3.31 billion and a P/E ratio of 14.90. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $34.75 and its 200 day moving average is $33.35.

Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.04. The company earned $157.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $164.23 million. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.45 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 45.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts forecast that Western Alliance Bancorp will post $2.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Western Alliance Bancorp news, Director Marianne Boyd Johnson sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 7th. The stock was 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 in the company, valued at approximately $294,339.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director M Nafees Nagy sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.64, for a total value of $3,664,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $164,880. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have made changes to their positions in WAL. Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Western Alliance Bancorp by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,460,608 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $88,238,000 after buying an additional 185,137 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. raised its stake in shares of 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. Schroder Investment Management Group acquired a new stake in shares of Western Alliance Bancorp during the fourth quarter worth approximately $28,864,000. State of Wisconsin Investment Board raised its stake in shares of 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. Finally, Fiduciary Management Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of Western Alliance Bancorp by 7.3% in the fourth quarter. Fiduciary Management Associates LLC now owns 710,748 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $25,486,000 after buying an additional 48,280 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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