Sales, profits surge at D.R. Horton as home builder has "phenomenal" quarter

Posted Friday, Apr. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Fort Worth-based D.R. Horton said its fiscal second-quarter income more than doubled from a year ago as the home builder saw a surge in sales orders as the nation's housing market recovers.

For the first three months of 2013, Horton said, income increased 173 percent to $111 million, or 32 cents a diluted share, compared with $40.6 million, or 13 cents a diluted share, in the same period last year.

Home-building revenue for the quarter was $1.39 billion, a 49 percent increase from the year-ago quarter.

On Wall Street, shares of D.R. Horton (ticker: DHI) jumped more than 8 percent, moving up $2.13 a share to $26.66.

The financial results were "nothing short of phenomenal," Chief Executive Donald Tomnitz told analysts during a conference call, noting that it was the company's best second quarter since 2006.

"We've come through a tough five years," Tomnitz said.

Horton closed sales on 5,643 homes from January to March, a 33 percent increase from a year ago. Its sales-order backlog increased 54 percent to 9,553 homes from 6,189 homes on March 31, 2012. The value of the backlog increased 52 percent to $2 billion, the company said.

Sales orders grew 34 percent because the inventory of homes for sale is shrinking.

Low mortgage rates and a smaller inventory of existing homes listed for sale helped push Horton's sales, Tomnitz said. The company also has continued to see a strong sales pace in April, Tomnitz said.

"The spring selling season is off to a strong start at D.R. Horton, with robust demand driving higher sales volumes and favorable pricing," Chairman Donald Horton said.

"We are in an excellent position to continue to meet increased sales demand and aggregate market share with 15,800 homes in inventory and 175,000 lots owned or controlled under option contracts, of which 58,000 lots are fully developed."

The average closing price of its homes in the quarter was $242,500, up 10 percent from a year ago. Tomnitz said people are taking advantage of low mortgage rates to buy as much house as they can. As a result, the average square footage of the homes sold has increased nearly 4 percent and the company no longer uses its two smallest home plans.

As of March 31, Horton said, it has $1.1 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

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