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 traded.

WAL has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut 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. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $42.50 target price (up 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 issued a buy rating to the stock. Western Alliance Bancorp has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $39.50.

The company has a market capitalization of $3.31 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.90. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $34.75 and a 200 day moving average price of $33.35.

Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The financial services provider reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by $0.04. The business earned $157.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $164.23 million. Western Alliance Bancorp’s revenue for the quarter was up 45.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.45 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Western Alliance Bancorp will post $2.53 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director M Nafees Nagy sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 transaction, the director now owns 4,500 shares in the company, valued at $164,880. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Duane Ralph Froeschle sold 10,147 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.25, for a total value of $357,681.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 115,131 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,058,367.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Morgan Stanley increased its position in 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 in the last quarter. 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 in 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 in 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 in 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 in 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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