Head to Head Review: Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) vs. Elmira Savings Bank (NYSE:ESBK)

Western Alliance Bancorporation (NYSE:WAL) and Elmira Savings Bank (NASDAQ:ESBK) are both finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, profitability and risk.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

83.2% of Western Alliance Bancorporation shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 11.3% of Elmira Savings Bank shares are owned by institutional investors. 7.7% of Western Alliance Bancorporation shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

Western Alliance Bancorporation has a beta of 1.82, meaning that its stock price is 82% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Elmira Savings Bank has a beta of 0.66, meaning that its stock price is 34% less volatile than the S&P 500.


Western Alliance Bancorporation pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.7%. Elmira Savings Bank pays an annual dividend of $0.60 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.7%. Western Alliance Bancorporation pays out 20.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Elmira Savings Bank has increased its dividend for 2 consecutive years. Elmira Savings Bank is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and longer track record of dividend growth.


This table compares Western Alliance Bancorporation and Elmira Savings Bank’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Western Alliance Bancorporation 35.68% 15.69% 1.72%
Elmira Savings Bank 12.53% N/A N/A

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Western Alliance Bancorporation and Elmira Savings Bank, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Western Alliance Bancorporation 0 3 6 0 2.67
Elmira Savings Bank 0 0 0 0 N/A

Western Alliance Bancorporation presently has a consensus target price of $42.88, suggesting a potential upside of 17.08%. Given Western Alliance Bancorporation’s higher possible upside, equities analysts plainly believe Western Alliance Bancorporation is more favorable than Elmira Savings Bank.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Western Alliance Bancorporation and Elmira Savings Bank’s gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Western Alliance Bancorporation $1.29 billion 2.86 $499.17 million $4.84 7.57
Elmira Savings Bank $28.03 million 1.30 $3.49 million N/A N/A

Western Alliance Bancorporation has higher revenue and earnings than Elmira Savings Bank.


Western Alliance Bancorporation beats Elmira Savings Bank on 11 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Western Alliance Bancorporation Company Profile

Western Alliance Bancorporation operates as the holding company for Western Alliance Bank that provides various banking products and related services primarily in Arizona, California, and Nevada. The company offers deposit products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and money market accounts, as well as fixed-rate and fixed maturity certificates of deposit accounts. It also offers commercial and industrial loan products, such as working capital lines of credit, inventory and accounts receivable lines, mortgage warehouse lines, equipment loans and leases, and other commercial loans; commercial real estate loans, which are secured by multi-family residential properties, professional offices, industrial facilities, retail centers, hotels, and other commercial properties; construction and land development loans for single family and multi-family residential projects, industrial/warehouse properties, office buildings, retail centers, medical office facilities, and residential lot developments; and consumer loans. In addition, the company provides other financial services, such as Internet banking, wire transfers, electronic bill payment and presentment, lock box services, courier, and cash management services. Further, it holds certain investment securities, municipal and non-profit loans, and leases; invests primarily in low income housing tax credits and small business investment corporations; and holds certain real estate loans and related securities. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated 38 branch locations and 11 loan production offices. Western Alliance Bancorporation was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.

Elmira Savings Bank Company Profile

Elmira Savings Bank provides banking products and services to individual and commercial customers. It accepts savings and money market accounts, time deposits, retail and commercial checking accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement arrangements, and NOW accounts. The company also provides consumer loans comprising auto, truck, and motorcycle loans; personal loans; boats, recreational vehicles, and other outdoor sports equipment loans; home improvement/equity loans; jacuzzi/hot tub/pool loans; and lines of credit. In addition, it offers commercial real estate mortgages, such as permanent and construction mortgages, and development loans; commercial loans, including term and time loans, lines of credit, and small business administration loans; and mortgage loans secured by first and second liens on one-to-four family residences. Further, the company provides debit cards, safe deposit boxes, and financial services products; and financial planning advisory, online and mobile banking, overdraft protection, notary public, funds transfer, merchant, and cash management services. Additionally, it operates a real estate investment trust. The company operates through a network of 13 full-service offices located in Chemung, Tompkins, Cayuga, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties; and 1 limited service office located in Broome County, New York. Elmira Savings Bank was founded in 1869 and is based in Elmira, New York.

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