Western Alliance To Buy AmeriHome For $1B; Shares Drop 3.5%

Western Alliance has agreed to snap up AmeriHome, a business-to-business mortgage acquirer and servicer, in a cash deal worth $1 billion. Shares declined almost 3.5% in Tuesday’s extended trading session after closing almost 3% higher on the day.

The purchase price includes $275 million in cash plus AmeriHome’s adjusted tangible book value based on year-end results. The bank is looking to arrange $275 million of primary capital through a public offering of common stock, before the end of the second quarter.

The deal is expected to be accretive more than 30% to EPS and over 500 basis points to return on average tangible common equity in 2020. Western Alliance (WAL) expects the acquisition to record annual after-tax funding cost synergies of $50 million along with projected after-tax merger and integration costs of $27 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. The dilution to the company’s tangible book value per share is expected to recover in less than one year.

Western Alliance said that the acquisition will help expand its national commercial businesses with the mortgage platform, diversifying revenue sources, which is expected to enhance fee revenue. (See Western Alliance stock analysis on TipRanks)

Western Alliance CEO Ken Vecchione said, “We look forward to maximizing the strategic and financial opportunities created by partnering with AmeriHome, which has been a valued client of Western Alliance Bank for years.”

“Acquiring this differentiated, high-performing mortgage platform provides a powerful growth engine and expands mortgage offerings to existing clients that give us flexible levers to drive consistent returns throughout market cycles,” Vecchione added.

On Jan. 25, DA Davidson analyst Gary Tenner increased the stock’s price target to $82 (1.8% upside potential) from $70 and reiterated a Buy rating. The analyst said, “Western Alliance is firing on all cylinders in terms of its loan and deposit generation, improving asset quality, and expense management.”

Western Alliance shares have exploded 110% over the past six months, while the stock still scores a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 7 Buys vs. 1 Hold. That’s alongside an average analyst price target of $81.13, which implies that shares are almost fully valued at current levels.

Moreover, Western Alliance scores a 9 of 10 from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock has strong potential to outperform market expectations.

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