PulteGroup 2Q Earnings Up on Better Home Sales

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PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM) reported Wednesday stronger-than expected second-quarter earnings, driven primarily by increased home sales pushed by its year-old merger with Centex Corp.

The homebuilder posted net income of $76 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a loss of $189 million, or 74 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, and landing ahead of average analyst estimates of a one-cent loss.

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Revenue for the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based company was $1.3 billion, up from $678 million in the earlier-year period, and beating the Street’s view of 1.24 billion.

PulteGroup CEO Richard J. Dugas said he was “pleased” with the second quarter results, noting they demonstrate “ongoing progress in driving key business initiatives.”

Earnings were boosted significantly by a 93% increase in home sales, which were driven by the company’s merger with Centex Corp. in August 2009.

Despite recent growth however, Dugas said demand for homes has remained relatively flat.

“While reasonable to expect a modest seasonal pick up in the second half of 2010, long-term we believe that any significant housing recovery will require a stronger economy, higher employment and greater overall consumer confidence,” Dugas said.

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