Homebuilder D.R. Horton Continues Getting Well

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D.R. Horton Inc. (DHI) reported third-quarter fiscal 2013 earnings before markets opened this morning. The home builder posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.42 on revenues of $1.6 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $2.22 on revenues of $1.1 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.34 and $1.72 billion in revenues.

D.R. Horton’s 2012 EPS included a one-time, non-cash gain of $716.7 million related to a valuation allowance for its deferred tax asset. The company’s net profit absent the non-cash gain would have been about $72 million, less than half the $146 million of net income reported in the third quarter of 2013.

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D.R. Horton did not offer any guidance, but the consensus fourth-quarter estimates call for EPS of $0.40 on revenues of $1.92 billion. For the full fiscal year, Horton is expected to post EPS of $1.22 on revenues of $6.29 billion.

The company’s CEO said, “Our strengthening operating metrics combined with our backlog of 9,911 homes at June 30, 2013 position us for a strong finish to our fiscal year.”

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D.R. Horton’s gross margin on home sales rose 340 basis points year-over-year to 21.4%. The company closed sales on 22,684 homes in the 12 months to June 30, and its sales order backlog going in the final quarter of its fiscal year is up 36% to 9,911. The value of that backlog is up 56%, to $2.6 billion.

The average sales price in the third quarter increased 15% to $268,000. So the company sold more homes at a higher price, yet revenues failed to meet estimates, while EPS leaped past estimates. Maybe the company will provide some insight into what happened during its conference call.

Horton closed at $21.20 last night, in a 52-week range of $16.93 to $27.75. Shares rose 2.5% to $21.75 in the after-hours session but are inactive so far this morning. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $27.20 before today’s report.

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