Two of the region’s largest banks on Thursday reported profits for 2011.
For Western Alliance Bancorp, the holding company for Bank of Nevada, last year meant a return to profitability.
At City National Corp., the parent company of City National Bank, it was a 19th consecutive year in the black.
“We are very pleased with our 2011 results as we substantially increased loans to small businesses … while growing net interest margin and improving our efficiency ratio,” said Robert Sarver, chairman and CEO of Phoenix-based Western Alliance.
Sarver said fourth-quarter earnings positioned Western Alliance for success this year “by riding the momentum of higher loan growth, along with a stable net interest margin, expense management, and continued improvement in asset quality.”
Western Alliance reported net income of $31.5 million, or 19 cents a share, in 2011 compared with a loss of $7.2 million, or 23 cents a share, a year earlier. For the fourth quarter, net income was $7.1 million, or 4 cents a share, compared with a loss of $10.8 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier.
Full-year net income was $31.5 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a loss of $7.2 million, or 23 cents a share, in 2010.
Total loans increased by $254 million, to $4.78 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $4.53 billion in the third quarter. Loans for 2011 increased $540 million, or 12.7 percent, from last year.
“The increase was driven by commercial and industrial loans and commercial real estate loans,” the bank holding company said in its annual report.
Bank of Nevada reported that loans increased by $7 million in the fourth quarter but declined by $55 million during the last 12 months, to $1.86 billion.
The Las Vegas-based bank reported deposits decreased $89 million in the fourth quarter, which caused a decline last year of $11 million, to $2.38 billion. Net income was $1.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $5.8 million, a year earlier.
“Despite the challenges of low interest rates and a slow growing economy, City National’s outlook for continuing growth is good,” City National Chairman and CEO Russell Goldsmith said.
City National reported full-year 2011 net income of $172.4 million, or $3.21 per share, compared with $125.5 million, or $2.36 per share, in 2010.
For the fourth quarter, City National reported net income of $43.9 million, or 82 cents a share, compared with $39.7 million, or 74 cents per shares, in the prior year quarter.
The company fell in line with analysts’ estimates of 82 cents a share for the quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue was $288 million, up 3 percent from $280 million in the comparable quarter last year. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance had estimated revenue of $268.4 million for the quarter.
The company said its board of directors has approved an increase in the quarterly common stock cash dividend to 25 cents a share, up from 20 cents per share. The quarterly dividend is payable on Feb. 15 to stockholders of record on Feb. 1.
Shares of Western Alliance lost 7 cents, or 0.93 percent, to close Thursday at $7.49 a share. City National shares lost 78 cents, or 1.59 percent, to close at $48.35. Both companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at email@example.com or 702-477-3893.