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Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL) of Phoenix grew its commercial and industrial loan portfolio by 18% during the fourth quarter, to $1.3 billion as of Dec. 30.
Usdin said that "C&I and non-owner occupied [commercial real estate lending] led the way for WAL over the past year, as the company continued to take advantage of a weakened competitive landscape." The analyst expects WesternAlliance's loan growth to slow, but still expects low double-digit growth in 2012 as the company remixes the loan portfolio out of Nevada into relatively stronger CA and AZ footprints."
Jefferies analyst Casey Haire rates Western Alliance a "Buy," with a $9.50 price target, estimating the company will earn 60 cents a share in 2012, followed by EPS of 90 cents in 2013.