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Earnings Preview: KB Home makes fresh 52-week high ahead of Q1 results

KB Home (KBH) is expected to report Q1 earnings on Thursday, March 21 before the market open with a conference call scheduled for 11:30 am ET. KB Home is a designer and builder of residential homes, townhomes and condominiums... EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of (22c) on revenue of $359.8M according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is (34c)-(8c) on revenue of $312.28M-$489.87M... LAST QUARTER: KB Home reported Q4 EPS of 10c against estimates for 7c on revenue of $578.2M against estimates for $567.06M. On its Q4 earnings report, KB Home said its Q4 backlog increased 35% year-over-year, representing the highest level since 2007. Management said the company was “positioned to drive significant growth in 2013 and beyond.” They expected sequential improvements in FY13 operating results, with increasing community counts for each quarter in 2013, most weighed towards the second half of the year. STREET RESEARCH: Street research has been mixed in the weeks leading up to KB Home’s Q1 earnings report. On December 21, KB Home was downgraded to Sell from Hold at Williams Capital. Barclays downgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight on February 5. Positive sentiment came from BofA Merrill on February 27 when they reinstated KB Home with a Buy rating and a $24 price target. Raymond James upgraded the shares to Outperform from Market Perform with a $22.50 price target on March 19. PRICE ACTION: KB Home’s shares have rallied approximately 42% since Q4 results were released in late December, making a fresh 52-week high of $21.45 earlier today. Since making a 52-week low of $6.46 in June of last year, the stock is up about 230%. In early afternoon trading ahead of Thursday's Q1 report, KB Home is up 1.80%.