Bank Stock Soars After Earnings, Bull Note

Wedbush added WAL to its "best ideas" list

Deputy Editor
Apr 19, 2023 at 10:27 AM
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The shares of Western Alliance Bancorp (NYSE:WAL) are soaring today, up 20.3% at $39.09 at last glance, after the bank name's first-quarter earnings beat, despite lower-than-expected revenue. Wedbush chimed in with a lofty bull note after the event, upgrading WAL to "outperform" from "neutral," and adding it to its "best ideas" list. The firm also raised its price target to $50 from $38. 

Western Alliance stock has struggled to regain footing since its bank crisis bear gap. Today's pop has WAL on track for its best day in over two years, though the $40 level appears to be keeping gains in check. The stock broke above recent pressure at its 20-day moving average; however, several key trendlines linger above as potential pressure. Year-to-date, the equity is still down 35.4%. 

Options bulls are betting on WAL today, with 17,000 calls exchanged so far -- six times the intraday average amount -- in comparison to 6,024 puts. The April 40 call is the most active, followed by the 41 call in the same monthly series, with new positions being opened at the latter. The equity is sporting attractively priced premiums at the moment, too, per its Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 70%, which sits in the low 14th percentile of its annual range. 

Analyst sentiment is similarly hopeful, as heading into today, 10 of the 12 in coverage carried a "buy" or better rating. Meanwhile, short interest has been shooting higher, up 74% in the most recent two-week reporting period, and now makes up 6.7% of the stock's available float. 



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