D.R. Horton expanding higher-end homes to increase revenue

01/23/2014 3:34 PM

01/23/2014 3:35 PM

The chairman of Fort Worth-based home builder D.R. Horton told shareholders Thursday that he expects revenue to grow through the company’s line of higher-priced luxury homes.

Donald R. Horton said its homes priced at $500,000 and above, including the Emerald brand rolled out a year ago, could grow to 20 to 25 percent of revenue, from 12.6 percent now.

“If you look at our fourth quarter, one of the secrets to our success is we target the entry-level and move-up markets, offering multiple price points and multiple products,” Horton said during the company’s annual meeting at its corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth. “We’re going to continue to work on adding more move-up communities.”

In November, Horton reported a $139.5 million profit for its fiscal fourth quarter as the housing market recovery pushed home-building revenue to $1.8 billion. Horton now builds in 78 markets in 27 states. The company shifted some of its focus to the move-up market during the recent downturn.

Horton’s stock (ticker: DHI) closed down 1 cent at $21.96 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Horton said the company is well-positioned, owning or holding options on about 181,000 lots.

“We’re always looking for new lot positions, new land positions,” he said. “I can tell you without question we are in the best land and lot position this company’s ever been in. Our goal is to not go into another downturn with the legacy lots we carried in from the last downturn.”

Horton was referring to land and lots that the company bought in 2006 and earlier, at the height of the housing boom. The company later sold the lots.

At the meeting, shareholders elected Barbara Allen, 67, a retired housing analyst and consultant, to the board of directors. Allen is the first female to serve on Horton’s board since 2006.

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