Toll Brothers Sells More Homes at Higher Prices

Toll Brothers Inc (NYSE:TOL), the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder, reported a 29 percent jump in quarterly revenue after it sold more homes at higher prices as housing demand strengthened.

The company's shares rose 1.5 percent to $32.69 in premarket trading after it also said orders jumped in terms of both dollars and units for the first time in four quarters.

"We are pleased with our strong finish to fiscal year 2014 and, given the fourth quarter's improvement in demand, begin fiscal year 2015 with optimism," Chief Executive Douglas Yearley said in a statement on Monday.

The U.S. housing market recovery that began about four years ago sputtered in the first eight months of 2014 as soaring home prices and rising interest rates dampened demand.

The latest housing data, however, shows that the market could be 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.

Toll Brothers said the number of homes it finished rose 22 percent to 1,807 in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31, while the average selling price rose 6.3 percent to $747,000 from a year earlier.

New contracts increased 10 percent to 1,282 homes, while the value of the contracts jumped 16 percent to $970.2 million.

Total revenue rose to $1.35 billion from $1.04 billion.

Toll Brother's shares closed at $32.22 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Up to Friday's close, the stock had risen about 1 percent in the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones U.S. home construction index <.DJUSHB> increased 21 percent.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Simon Jennings)