U.S. Markets closed

Toll Brothers' stock falls as CEO says housing demand soften further in November

Tomi Kilgore

Shares of Toll Brothers Inc. dropped 4.6% in premarket trading Tuesday, after the home builder reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat expectations but said the housing market slowed further in November, particularly in California. Net income for the quarter to Oct. 31 rose to $311 million, or $2.08 a share, from $191.9 million, or $1.17 a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $1.84. Sales increased to $2.46 billion from $2.03 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $2.36 billion. Chief Executive Douglas Yearley said that despite a healthy economy, there was a "moderation" in demand during the quarter, as contracts declined 15% in dollars and 13% in units. "In November, we saw the market soften further, which we attribute to the cumulative impact of rising interest rates and the effect on buyer sentiment of well-publicized reports of a housing slowdown," Yearley said. "California has seen the biggest decline." The stock has lost 8.5% over the past three months through Monday, while the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF has shed 10% and the S&P 500 has slipped 3.7%.