D.R. Horton Orders Jump as Housing Demand Picks Up

Features Reuters

D.R. Horton Inc, the largest U.S. homebuilder, reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and said orders jumped 38 percent, suggesting an uptick in housing demand.

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The company, which caters to people buying their first or second homes, said the number of homes sold rose 25 percent to 8,612 in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30.

D.R. Horton's customers are returning after being hit especially hard by soaring home prices and rising interest rates in the first eight months of the year.

Latest housing data also shows the industry picking up again. New home starts rose 6.3 percent to a 1.02 million-unit annual pace in September, after a 14.4 percent fall in August, Commerce Department data showed.

Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc said on Monday its orders jumped in terms of both dollars and units for the first time in four quarters.

D.R. Horton's revenue from home sales, which excludes land sales, jumped 33 percent to $2.40 billion and was above the average analyst estimate of $2.38 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Net income rose to $166.3 million, or 45 cents per share, from $139.5 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

However, earnings missed the analyst estimate of 48 cents per share as costs jumped about 35 percent.

D.R. Horton's shares were down less than 1 percent at $23.25 in premarket trading.

The stock had risen about 30 percent in the year to Monday's close. The Dow Jones U.S. home construction index increased 23 percent. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)