Homebuilder shares mixed on new-home sales report

Homebuilder shares mixed after December's dip in new-home sales

Associated Press

Homebuilder shares were mixed Monday after the U.S. Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes fell in December for a second consecutive month.

The report said that sales of new homes dropped 7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000. In November, sales had fallen 3.9 percent. Despite the end-of-the-year lull, sales for the whole year were up 16.4 percent to 428,000, the highest level since 2008.

The dip worried investors though, sending shares of several homebuilders down. NVR Inc. bucked the trend, with its share price jumping after reporting Monday that its fourth-quarter profit came in much higher than analysts were anticipating.

Barclays analyst Stephen Kim said in a research note that homebuilders' already high market share and decelerating price trends will limit their top-line growth through 2016. The analyst lowered his rating on KB Home to "Under Weight" from "Equal Weight".

Here's a look at how some companies were faring in afternoon trading as the broader market pared its losses:

Beazer Homes USA Inc.: Down 24 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $21.46

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc.: Down 12 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $5.58

Toll Brothers Inc.: Down 32 cents to $35.25

KB Home: Down 46 cents, or 2.6 percent to $17.23

Lennar Corp.: Up 11 cents to $37.14

PulteGroup Inc.: Up 3 cents to $18.87

DR Horton Inc.: Up 3 cents to $20.90

NVR Inc.: Up 6.8 percent to $1,077.

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