Crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank's Q4 net income fell 55% year-over-year but it beat street estimates

Quick Take

  • The bank added 48 digital currency-related clients during Q4
  • That figure hit 804 industry clients at the end of 2019, an increase from 542 a year prior.
  • Silvergate Bank reported a 55% decline in its Q4 net income
  • Street estimates for Silvergate’s earnings per share (EPS) for Q4 were at $0.08, while the bank’s actual number came in at $0.19.

Silvergate Bank – which counts major crypto exchanges Coinbase, Gemini and Kraken as clients – reported that it had 804 crypto-related clients at the end of 2019, adding 48 during the final quarter alone.

On the net income side, the bank earned $3.6 million in Q4 2019 compared to $6.7 million in Q3. On a year-over-year basis, net income fell 55 percent (Q4 2018 net income was $8 million), according to financial results published Wednesday.

“Our fourth quarter results were in line with our expectations,” said Alan Lane, president and CEO of Silvergate.

Still, street estimates for Silvergate’s earnings per share (EPS) for Q4 were at $0.08, while the bank’s actual number came in at $0.19.

"Digital currency customers grew to 804 at December 31, 2019 compared to 756 at September 30, 2019, and 542 at December 31, 2018," the statement said.

In terms of fees earned from those clients, the Q4 figures – about $1.4 million – represented a slight decline from $1.6 million in the third quarter, but a boost from Q4 2018's $0.7 million. 

Silvergate’s payments network, which provides 24/7 access to near-instantaneous money transfers, handled 14,400 transactions in Q4 compared to 12,312 in Q3 and 4,977 in Q4 2018.

In terms of value, the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) handled lesser transfers at $9.6 billion in Q4 as compared to $10.4 billion in Q3.

Lane said of the figures:

“While the price of bitcoin was volatile in the fourth quarter, impacting digital fee income and U.S. dollar volumes, we remain confident in the growth outlook for the SEN given our strong customer pipeline and increased SEN transaction volumes combined with the many opportunities that we see to expand the SEN’s product offerings to further drive digital currency fee income growth."

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