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Goldman chops target for Western Alliance Bancorp

Goldman Sachs analyst Lori Appelbaum has cut her 12-month target price on Western Alliance Bancorp to $22 (U.S.) from $25 after it "pre-announced" that it is boosting loan-loss reserves for the fourth quarter and also writing down its securities portfolio. Ms. Appelbaum, who rates the shares "neutral," told clients in a note that the bank's fourth quarter share profit is now expected to come in at just 9 cents, compared with her forecast of 25 cents and the consensus analyst forecast of 31 cents. "Problems are clearly tied to Western Alliance's markets which are at the centre of the housing bust (Las Vegas, Arizona, San Diego), with residential land and construction exposure equalling 11 per cent of total loans versus 6 per cent at peers," she said.

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