SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The success of Silicon Valley Bancshares is stirring up takeover talk.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based holding company for Silicon Valley Bank, which has carved itself a nice niche handling high-tech companies, has watched its stock rise considerably in the past week.
The $1.1 billion-asset institution, with a projected 1995 profit of more than $15 million, had an especially active week leading up to Christmas, as its stock rose nearly 10% and attracted increased attention from analysts.
"It looks like someone's buying the stock thinking there's a takeover in the works," said Campbell Chaney, an analyst with Rodman & Renshaw, in San Francisco.
Silicon Valley started last week at $22.75, which was already a 52-week high. It dropped 50 cents a share last Monday and another 25 cents Tuesday, but rebounded 75 cents Wednesday, before dropping 12.5 cents on Thursday.
But on Friday, Dec. 22, the stock took off, jumping $2.87 to close at $25. About 310,000 shares changed hands during the day, more than 1,000 times the average. This week, the stock slid back somewhat to close $24.31 on Wednesday.
"A company like this doesn't trade with this kind of volume unless somebody thinks they know something," Mr. Chaney said.
John C. Dean, president and chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Bank, said he was baffled by the frenzied trading.
"I don't know why it's been doing what it's been doing," said Mr. Dean. "But whatever the reason, we don't focus on the stock price. All we want to focus on is quality earnings and growth."
Mr. Chaney said Silicon Valley would be an ideal target for a larger bank interested in moving into a niche market.
"I think this would be a terrific acquisition for someone looking to pick up a lot of technology business," he said.