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SVB Financial Whiffs Strongly on Q1 EPS, Yet Stock Rises

By Eric Volkman – Apr 23, 2020 at 8:13PM

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Coronavirus-related provisioning was the main reason the company's net profit deteriorated by 54%.

SVB Financial Group (SIVB 5.69%) saw its shares rise Thursday, despite a lower-than-expected Q1 of fiscal 2020 net profit due to the higher provisioning that's become commonplace for banks.

Results for the quarter were released this afternoon, and the company's top and bottom lines went in opposite directions. Total revenue was $869 million, an improvement of nearly 5% on a year-over-year basis. On the other hand, net profit dived by 54% to land at just over $132 million ($2.55 per share).

A bank vault.

Image source: Getty Images.

In terms of profitability, analysts had collectively expected the bank to book a per-share net profit of $3.56.

SVB Financial's steep decline on the bottom line was due heavily to credit loss provisioning. This is a trend across the banking sector, as lenders gird themselves for what's expected to be a sharp increase in loan defaults deriving from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus' harmful effects on the world's economy.

The company's average loans, meanwhile, rose by slightly more than 5% to $33.7 billion, and total deposits climbed 18% to $61.9 billion.

SVB Financial doesn't see a grim, post-pandemic future for its business. In the earnings release, it wrote:

[O]ur solid financial foundation of strong capital, ample liquidity and a high-quality balance sheet should position us well for the current environment. We believe we can continue to support and lend to our clients and manage the impact of a weaker economy while investing in our long-term growth.

Perhaps that optimism spurred investors to buy the company's stock, which closed a bit over 2% higher on Thursday, beating an equities market that basically traded flat on the day.

SVB Financial provides credit and banking services to The Motley Fool. Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends SVB Financial Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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