Bank of Nevada reports $900,000 profit

Bank of Nevada, the second-largest state-chartered bank in Nevada, came out the recession with a $900,000 profit, compared with losses of $3 million in the first quarter last year and $5.8 million in the fourth quarter.

Western Alliance Bancorporation, the holding company for the bank and other banks in California and Arizona, reported the results Monday. The holding company earned $2.7 million, or 3 cents a share, in the first quarter ended March 31, compared with a $2.1 million loss, or 3 cents a share, a year ago.

"For the first time in three years, each of our operating units was profitable," Western Alliance Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Sarver said in a statement. He told analysts that he expects the positive trend to continue.

Nevada is "showing improvement year over year," Sarver told analysts. "Of course, last year was pretty bad. I would characterize Las Vegas as stable over the next 12 months. It's probably going to get better."

Sarver was encouraged with improvement in McCarran International Airport traffic, Las Vegas hotel room rates and the convention business.

Western Alliance is the third regional holding company with Nevada operations to report first-quarter profits. The other two, City National Corp. and Zions Bancorporation, didn't break out results for Nevada, but both reported first-quarter profits. That may be an early indication that the recession is easing in Nevada, but it's too difficult to tell until privately held community banks in Southern Nevada report first-quarter financial results to federal regulators.

At Bank of Nevada loans decreased by $42 million during the first quarter and by $141 over the last 12 months to $1.87 billion.

Deposits edged up by $123 million over the last 12 months to $2.4 billion.

Western Alliance reported that its total assets increased to $6.4 billion, or 5 percent, from the $6.1 billion recorded a year ago. Nonperforming assets, including nonaccrual loans and foreclosed real estate, totaled 3.3 percent of total assets, down from 4.2 percent a year ago.

Western Alliance may develop an interest in acquiring other institutions later in the year when the company expects better financial results, Sarver said.

The company's shares rose 12 cents, or 1.69 percent, to close at $7.84 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Contact reporter John G. Edwards at or 702-383-0420.