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Homebuilders climb after D.R. Horton's results beat expectations

Several homebuilders are advancing after one of the companies in the space, D.R. Horton (DRI), reported stronger than expected results. D.R. Horton reported first quarter earnings per share of 20c, versus analysts' consensus estimate of 14c. The homebuilder's revenue also beat expectations, as its average sales price increased due to pricing power, geographic mix and larger homes being sold. Moreover, the company added that it expects to have a good Spring selling season. A number of upgrades of homebuilder companies by research firms may also be contributing to the strength in the sector. Compass Point upgraded Lennar (LEN) to Buy from Hold earlier today, while the same firm also raised its rating on Hovnanian (HOV) to Neutral from Sell and upgraded Standard Pacific (SPF) to Buy from Neutral. In mid-afternoon trading, Lennar climbed 1.46% to $42.52, Hovnanian advanced 3.20% to $6.12, Standard Pacific rose 1.93% to $8.45 and D.R. Horton jumped 10.14% to $23.47.