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SVB Financial: 9 Critical Numbers

By John Maxfield - Apr 19, 2013 at 1:41PM

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If you own stock in SVB Financial or are thinking about buying it, then at the very least, you should know these nine critical numbers.

Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in SVB Financial (SIVB 5.78%) or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you've come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about SVB Financial stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.

SVB Financial is not your typical bank. Located in Northern California, it's the holding company for Silicon Valley Bank, a niche lender that focuses almost exclusively on companies in the technology, life sciences, and winery space. Think venture capital. "For nearly three decades," its website reads, "SVB Financial Group and its subsidiaries, including Silicon Valley Bank, have been dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed." And if its share-price performance is any indication, this model has succeeded. Over the past 10 years, the total return to shareholders has been 273%. For context, only a handful of banks exceeded the 100% mark over this same time period -- including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and PNC Financial -- and roughly half of the 100-plus banks I examined actually declined in value over the same time period.

As you can see in the table above, from a shareholder's perspective, SVB Financial exhibits a number of strengths. Its nonperforming loans ratio is a staggering 142 basis points better than the average of the 100-plus banks I examined. It derives more than a third of revenue from fee-based sources. Its efficiency ratio is only 60%. And its return on equity is in the double-digit range, exceeding the average by more than 200 basis points.

On the other hand, its net interest margin is comparatively low -- though, this is likely because of its prudent risk management and large deposit holdings. In addition, it doesn't pay a dividend. And finally, it trades for 1.73 times tangible book value, a relatively high valuation compared to its peers.

To sum up, the great thing about SVB is that it gives investors prudently managed exposure to Silicon Valley without directly exposing them to the risks associated with start-up companies. But you have to pay up for it, given the absence of a dividend and high valuation.

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SVB Financial Group Stock Quote
SVB Financial Group
$452.72 (5.78%) $24.74

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