SVB Financial Group in Santa Clara, Calif., reported higher quarterly profit that benefited from growth in the nation’s tech sector.

The $56 billion-asset parent of Silicon Valley Bank said in a press release Thursday that its second-quarter earnings nearly doubled from a year earlier, to $237.8 million. Diluted earnings per share of $4.42, or 55 cents higher than the average estimate of analysts compiled by FactSet Research Systems.

The higher earnings were attributable to “healthy” gains on SVB's investments and higher interest rates, President and CEO Greg Becker said in the release.

“These results were underpinned by strong fundamentals, a healthy pipeline and positive conditions for our clients,” Becker said.

Net interest income rose by 36%, to $466.4 million. The net interest margin widened by 59 basis points to 3.59%.

Total loans rose by 24% to $26.2 billion, led by double-digit increases in lending to private equity, venture capital and software firms.

Noninterest income spiked by 50% to $193 million, because of securities gains, higher foreign exchange fees and gains on equity warrant assets.

SVB held equity warrants in 1,967 companies on June 30, a 9% increase from a year earlier. Within its portfolio, 15 companies each had fair market values greater than $1 million.

Noninterest expenses rose 22% to $305.7 million, mostly because of higher compensation costs and increased spending on outside services.

Greg Becker, CEO of SVB Financial/Silicon Valley Bank
SVB's profit was boosted by "positive conditions" for clients, President and CEO Greg Becker said. Loans increased by 24% from a year earlier.

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