DR Horton's 2Q profit jumps as home sales rise

Growth in completed sales helps boost homebuilder DR Horton's fiscal 2nd-qtr profit 18 percent

Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- D.R. Horton Inc.'s profit jumped 18 percent in the first three months of the year as the nation's largest homebuilder sold more homes and benefited from rising prices.

The results trumped Wall Street estimates, sending shares of the Fort Worth, Texas, builder up more than 7 percent in afternoon trading Thursday.

D.R. Horton's net income climbed to $131 million, or 38 cents per share, for its fiscal second quarter ended March 31. That compares with net income of $111 million, or 32 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Total revenue rose to $1.7 billion from $1.39 billion.

Analysts' consensus forecast called for earnings of 34 cents per share on $1.58 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

D.R. Horton, which builds homes in 27 states, said completed home sales jumped 10 percent to 6,194 in the January-March period versus a year earlier. Net sales orders for new homes climbed 9 percent to 8,569.

The average sales price of its homes rose 10 percent to $278,900, the company said.

The builder ended the quarter with a backlog of 10,059 homes under contract, an increase of 5 percent from a year ago.

Chairman Donald R. Horton said housing market conditions remain favorable, adding the company is in a strong position to grow earnings and revenue in the second half of its fiscal year, which runs through the end of September.

Also on Thursday, the builder declared a quarterly dividend of 3.75 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on May 27 to shareholders of record on May 15.

D.R. Horton shares added $1.73, or 8.1 percent, to $23.08 in afternoon trading. The stock is up 3.4 percent this year.

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