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NVR's 1Q net income jumps 74 percent

RESTON, Va. (AP) -- NVR Inc. said Monday its first-quarter net income jumped 74 percent as new orders for homes and closings of mortgage loans marked substantial increases.

However, results missed estimates, and shares slid in trading.

The major homebuilder and mortgage company earned $35 million, or $6.84 a share, in the January-March quarter. That compared with $20.1 million, or $3.90 a share, in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 28 percent to $770.3 million from $600.5 million a year earlier.

On average, analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast earnings per share of $8.04 on revenue of $836.4 million.

First-quarter new orders for homes increased 11 percent to 3,510 while the backlog of homes sold but not settled was up 27 percent on a unit basis and up 39 percent on a dollar basis.

NVR's mortgage banking unit posted a 40 percent improvement in operating income during the quarter, to $11.2 million.

The U.S. housing market is recovering after stagnating for about five years following the collapse of the real estate bubble. Steady job gains and near-record-low mortgage rates have encouraged more people to buy. Homebuilders are a bellwether for the housing market and the economy. While new homes represent less than one-fifth of the total housing market, construction of houses has a major impact on the economy.

Homebuilders broke the 1 million mark in March for the first time since June 2008, the Commerce Department reported last Tuesday. The gain signals continued strength for the housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.

The overall pace of homes started rose 7 percent from February to March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.04 million.

Shares of Reston, Va.-based NVR fell $65.11, or 6.5 percent, to $941.02 in early afternoon trading. They have traded between $721.56 and $1,100 in the past 52 weeks.