1. Western Alliance BanCorp
Shares of Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) of Phoenix closed at $8.47 Friday, returning 36% year-to-date, following a 15% decline during 2011.
The shares trade for 11 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of 77 cents.
Jefferies analyst Casey Haire on Monday raised his price target for the shares to $10.50 from $9.50, while leaving his 2012 EPS estimate of 60 cents and his 2013 estimate of 90 cents unchanged.Western alliance will report its first-quarter results on April 19, with a consensus EPS estimate of 12 cents, compared to fourth-quarter earnings of seven cents a share, and EPS of three cents, during the first quarter of 2011. Haire said that estimates the company will post first-quarter EPS of 13 cents and said on Monday that the "biggest wildcard" will be the write-down the company's repossessed real estate, "which should be meaningfully lower Q-Q (our model has $2.5mm vs. $8mm in 4Q) given that only 33% (vs. 66% in 4Q) of