Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL)’s Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Below is transcript of the Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL)’s Fourth Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call, held on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Bennett Lawrence Management, Sirios Capital Management and Hutchin Hill Capital was among Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WALshareholders at the end of the third quarter.


Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL)


Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) is a bank holding company. The Company provides full-service banking and lending to locally owned businesses, professional firms, real estate developers and investors, local non-profit organizations, high net worth individuals and other consumers through its three wholly owned subsidiary banks.


Company Executives:

Robert Sarver, Chairman and CEO, Western Alliance Bancorporation

Dale Gibbons, Chief Financial Officer, Western Alliance Bancorporation



Casey Haire, Jefferies
Brad Milsaps, Sandler O’Neill
John Moran, Macquarie
Brian Klock, Keefe, Bruyette Woods
Brett Rabatin, Sterne Agee
Joe Morford, RBC
Tim Coffey, FIG Partners.



Good day everyone. Welcome to the earnings call for Western Alliance Bancorporation for the fourth quarter 2014. Our speakers today are Robert Sarver, Chairman and CEO, and Dale Gibbons, Chief Financial Officer. You may also view the presentation today via webcast through the company’s website at www.westernalliancebancorp.com. The call will be recorded and made available for replay after 2PM ET, January 23rd, 2015, through Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 9AM ET, by dialing 1-877-3447529 and using pass code 10057230.

The discussion during this call may contain forward-looking statements that relate to expectations, belief, projections, future plans and strategies, anticipated events and or trends and similar expressions concerning matters that are not historical facts. The forward-looking statements contained herein reflect our current views about future events and financial performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause our actual results to differ significantly from historical results and those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical or expected results includes those listed in the filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, the company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward looking statements. Now for the opening remarks, I would like to turn the call over to Robert Sarver. Please go ahead sir.


Robert Sarver, Chairman and CEO, Western Alliance Bancorporation

Thanks. Good morning everybody. Welcome to Western Alliance’s Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. First are review of our performance highlights, then I will turn it over to Dale to discuss some more details on our results and then we will open the lines up for your questions. 2014 was the best year in our company’s history. It culminated with a strong fourth quarter growth in our balance sheet, record revenue and credit recoveries. Net income was $40.4 million or $0.46 cents per share. The same amount is the third quarter and up 28% from the $0.36 cents we made in the fourth quarter of 2013. Loan growth was $469 million, or up 20% annualized on a linked quarter basis. Deposits were up $233 million or 11% annualized. Our tangible book value per share increased 28% during the quarter on an annualized basis to $10.21 a year end. As we continue to grow, our tangible book value faster than our return on equity. Non-performing assets improved to just 1.18% of total assets, while net loan recoveries to average loans were 4 basis points annualized.

Despite our strong balance sheet growth, capital remain strong and our 2:1 leverage ratio was 9.7%. Our return on assets was 1.56% and our return on tangible common equity was over 18%. For the year, loans grew $1.6 billion and deposits grew $1.1 billion. Earnings per share climb 27% from 2013 to $1.67 in 2014, which was the largest component of our $2.31 increase in our tangible book value per share last year. Our full year return on assets was 1.5%, and our full year return on equity was 18.5%, similar ratios to our fourth quarter.

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