Shares of Phoenix, Arizona-based Western Alliance Bancorporation ( WAL) are down about 20% in 2011. The bank operates over 40 bank branches in Arizona, California and Nevada. It has about $6.54 billion in total assets and $5.63 billion in total deposits. The bank has a Tier 1 Common Capital ratio of 8.6% . The bank has repaid the $140 million in bailout money and has also repurchased warrants held by the U.S. Treasury. WAL experienced strong loan growth of nearly 3% in the third quarter. Total operating revenues increased just 0.5% sequentially but together with a 13% drop in expenses the efficiency ratio improved to 63.2% from 72.9%. The drop was attributable to a decline in foreclosure-related writedowns/losses, which could tick up again if conditions worsen in Nevada, which has 40% of the company's total loans. Non- performing assets rose 1% to $200.4 million or 4.34% of loans in the third quarter. Net charge-offs amounted to 1.4% of loans. "While we recognize the lingering concerns about the credit exposure to troubled markets like Nevada and Arizona, ultimately we believe WAL shares could earn back a premium multiple given the company's strong shareholder-driven management team and its prospects for taking market share and delivering above-average growth over time," RBC Capital analysts wrote in a Oct.18 report following the results. KBW analysts rate the stock a market perform with a price target of $7.50. Seven analysts rate the stock a buy or outperform while seven others rate it a hold. >>To see these stocks in action, visit the 5 Bank Stocks That Could Jump on 2012 M&A portfolio on Stockpickr. --Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Shanthi Bharatwaj. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/shavenk. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.