IRVINE, Calif. (AP) -- Standard Pacific Corp.'s net income vaulted more than threefold in the second quarter, powered by an increase in homes sold and rising sale prices.
Completed sales in the quarter grew 34 percent from a year earlier, while orders for new homes increased 37 percent. On average, the builder's homes sold for $397,000, an increase of 18 percent from a year earlier.
Interest rates close to record lows and an improving jobs market have helped the housing sector sustain its recovery this year.
Americans snapped up new homes in June at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, the fastest pace in five years. That's still below the 700,000 pace consistent with healthy markets, but new home sales have risen 38 percent in the past 12 months. Most economists suggest new home sales will continue to increase.
Even so, Wall Street has hammered homebuilder stocks in recent weeks amid concern among some investors that rising mortgage interest rates could slow sales.
For the April-June quarter, Standard Pacific's net income after paying preferred dividends was $28.8 million, or 11 cents per share. That compares with net income of $8.12 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.
The latest results beat analysts' consensus forecast, which called for earnings of 8 cents per share, according to FactSet.
Total revenue jumped about 60 percent to $438.7 million — short of the $449.8 million analysts expected.
Standard Pacific, which builds homes in seven states, booked 1,516 net orders for new homes during the quarter and completed sales on 1,095 homes.
The builder ended the quarter with a backlog of 2,272 homes under contract, an increase of 79 percent from a year ago. Backlog is a key indicator of potential future revenue.
The builder's shares ended regular trading down 32 cents, or 3.9 percent, at $7.89. The stock recovered 11 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $8 in after-hours trading. Shares are up about 7 percent this year.