Homebuilder D.R. Horton beat Wall Street expectations Friday when it reported first-quarter profits of $27.7 million (9 cents per share), a reversal of its year-ago loss of $20.4 million (6 cents), on home-sale revenues of $885.6 million.
The company sold 4,118 homes across the country during the first quarter, compared to 3,637 in the year-ago quarter.
Based in Texas, D.R. Horton bills itself as the largest U.S. homebuilder based on 17,176 escrow closures during the year ending Dec. 31. The company operates in 73 markets in 25 states.
Long active in the Santa Clarita Valley, Horton is currently marketing The Preserve in Sand Canyon, a community of large, 3,341- to 5,490-square-foot homes with up to four bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 3-car garages.
“We are off to a strong start in fiscal 2012,” Chairman Donald R. Horton said in a statement. “We were profitable in our first quarter and are focused on being profitable each quarter and for the entire fiscal year.”
“Our net sales orders, homes closed and sales order backlog all increased by double-digit percentages over the prior year quarter,” he said. “We are looking forward to the spring selling season with cautious optimism. We are positioned for growth, and we remain committed to controlling our construction costs, (administrative expenses) and inventory levels while maintaining our strong balance sheet and liquidity.”
During the quarter, the company bought back $10.8 million of its 6.5-percent senior notes due in 2016 and ended the quarter with $1 billion of unrestricted homebuilding cash and marketable securities, with a net homebuilding debt to total capital rate of 17.5 percent.
The company has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 3.75 cents per share payable Feb. 21 to stockholders of record Feb. 10.