By Noel Randewich
(Reuters) – Shares of Western Alliance Bancorp surged 24% on Wednesday after the U.S. regional bank posted stronger-than-expected earnings and said its deposits had stabilized, helping allay fears that last month’s banking crisis could envelop more lenders.
The Phoenix, Arizona-based bank’s quarterly results also lifted the shares of other regional lenders punished by stock investors last month as consumers shifted their deposits into bigger institutions following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
Graphic: Western Alliance rebounds as report allays investor worries https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/gkvlwjnwnpb/Pasted%20image%201681925364807.png
Western Alliance said late on Tuesday that total deposits fell 11% to $47.6 billion in the first quarter from the previous three months, but that deposits steadied late in the quarter and grew by $2 billion from March 31 to April 14.
Balance sheet repositioning, which included selling some assets and reclassifying loans, resulted in non-operating charges of $110 million, the bank added.
“We are seeing positive news from a regional bank that was in the crosshairs of the whole crisis,” Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at Carson Group in Omaha, said in an email following Western Alliance’s report.
“We aren’t fully out of the woods yet, but things are a whole lot brighter for the financial sector and likely will only get better as confidence returns,” he added.
Wedbush Securities raised its rating on Western Alliance to “outperform” from “neutral” and added the bank to its “Best ideas list”, among stocks including Apple and Microsoft.
Western Alliance’s results soothed concerns about the stability of regional banks following worst U.S. banking crisis since 2008. PacWest Bancorp and First Republic Bank each soared more than 12%, while the SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF climbed about 4%.
Zions Bancorp jumped 7.4% during Wednesday’s trading session, but then fell 5% in extended trading after the Utah-based lender reported quarterly profits that missed estimates as higher provisions to cover loan losses offset the impact of rising rates on its interest income.
The rally in Western Alliance following its report stood out among several regional banks that have posted quarterly results this week.
Citizens Financial Group Inc edged up 0.2% after reporting a quarterly profit early on Wednesday that missed Wall Street’s estimates.
U.S. Bancorp rose 2.3% after beating estimates for first-quarter profit, while increasing its rainy-day funds to $427 million from $112 million last year.
Charles Schwab Corp climbed 2.8%, extending this week’s gain to about 10% after the brokerage’s quarterly profit surpassed estimates on Monday, while its slump in deposits was not as severe as expected.
Western Alliance’s stock remains down over 40% from early March, before Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich in Oakland, California; Additional reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Diane Craft and Jamie Freed)