Shares of Silicon Valley Bank parent company SVB Financial Group lost more than half their value, to wipe out nearly $10 billion in market capitalization, after the Santa Clara, Calif.-based financial-services company disclosed large losses from securities sales and a stock offering meant to provide a boost to its balance sheet.
which helps fund technology startups backed by venture-capital firms, said it took the “strategic actions” to strengthen its financial position as rising interest rates increase pressure on public and private markets and as clients face elevated cash burn levels.
SVB also cut its first-quarter guidance ranges for net interest income (NII) to $880 million-$900 million from $925 million-$955 million, and for net interest margin (NIM) to 1.75%-1.79% from 1.85%-1.95%. The outlook for declines in average deposits was increased to the low-double-digit percentage range from mid single digits.
“While VC deployment has tracked our expectations, client cash burn has remained elevated and increased further in February, resulting in lower deposits than forecasted,” Chief Executive Greg Becker wrote in a letter to shareholders. “The related shift in our funding mix to more, higher-cost deposits and short-term borrowings, coupled with higher interest rates, continues to pressure NII and NIM.”
The company said in its 2022 annual report filed in late February: “We currently have minimal exposure to cryptocurrency and digital assets through loans to, deposits from and investments in clients engaged in those industries.”
The stock dove 60.4% to $106.04, the lowest close since September 2016. It was the biggest one-day selloff since the stock began trading in October 1987, according to FactSet, as it surpassed the previous record selloff of 42.3% on Sept. 10, 1998. It was halted five times for volatility on Thursday.
The shares’ price decline of $161.79 wiped away $9.58 billion from SVB’s market capitalization, which fell to $6.27 billion on Thursday.
The stock also led weakness in bank stocks, as the SPDR S&P Regional Banking exchange-traded fund
tumbled 8.1%, the worst one-day performance since it shed 9.3% on Nov. June 11, 2020, as all 143 equity components lost ground.
SVB said late Wednesday it sold about $21 billion worth of its available-for-sale securities. As of Dec. 31, the company had $26.1 billion in AFS securities.
The sale will result in a loss of about $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2023, while the FactSet consensus for first-quarter net income was $274.8 million.
“The sale of substantially all of our AFS securities will enable us to increase our asset sensitivity, partially lock in funding costs, better insulate net interest income (NII) and net interest margin (NIM) from the impact of higher interest rates, and enhance profitability,” Becker wrote.
Separately, the company said it plans to offer for sale $2.25 billion worth of equity securities to bolster its financial position.
The offering includes $1.25 billion worth of common stock and $500 million worth of mandatory convertible preferred stock. SVB has also entered into an agreement with private-equity investor General Atlantic to buy $500 million worth of common stock in a separate private transaction.
“Our financial position enables us to take these strategic actions, which are intended to further bolster that position now and over the long term,” the bank said in a statement.
JPMorgan analyst Steven Alexopoulos cut his stock-price target to $270 from $300 but reiterated the overweight rating he’s had on SVB for at least the past three years. The stock target is above Tuesday’s closing price of $267.83.
“While this is yet another setback that will result in another negative [earnings-per-share] revision, we continue to believe that it remains a question of when rather than if the war chest of dry powder on the sidelines starts to get deployed at a much more rapid pace,” Alexopoulos wrote in a note to clients.
has tumbled 51.9% over the past three months and plunged 80.3% over the past 12 months. In comparison, the SPDR regional bank ETF
has lost 24.2% over the past year and the S&P 500 index
has shed 8.4%.
SVB Financial Group, a well-known financial services group, recently experienced a record plunge in its shares when the market opened on May 6, 2021. The sharp drop of 16.14% in the stock price was the largest percentage drop in a single day for the company since it went public in November of 2014. The cause of the sudden decline was attributed to rising client cash burn as the company revealed plans to increase cash reserves in order to bolster its finances.
The San Francisco-based SVB Financial has been operating since 1983 and offers a wide range of banking and financial services, mainly catering to venture capital and technology firms. According to the bank’s CEO, Greg Becker, its exposure to the sector has caused it to bear the brunt of the turbulent economic climate created by the global pandemic.
As more businesses continue to struggle due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, combined with the expiration of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) initiated by the U.S. government, firms have been cutting back on their spending and have struggled to stay afloat. This has led to a concerning amount of cash burn for clients of SVB Financial, who have had to dip into their existing funds to cover their expenses.
In response to this, SVB Financial has taken decisive action to increase its cash reserves, in order to ensure the company’s continued long-term stability. Amongst these measures, the financial group plans to raise up to $1 billion in capital from the public markets to build up its liquidity.
The move may see SVB Financial further expand its range of services and enter new markets in the near future. Becker went on to reassure investors that the firm is well-positioned to weather the current economic downturn and is equipped to face whatever challenges may arise as the economy begins to recover.
In spite of the plunge in SVB Financial’s stock price, analysts remain confident in its long-term outlook and expect that it will be able to weather the storm.