PulteGroup 4Q adj. profit tops Wall Street's view

BLOOMFIELD HILLS (AP) -- PulteGroup's fourth-quarter net income more than quadrupled as the homebuilder continued to see a rise in new orders and higher home prices. Its adjusted results and revenue beat analysts' expectations.

The housing market is starting to build momentum, with many within the industry seeing a slow recovery take hold. Homebuilders have been putting up better sales numbers, thanks in part to record low rates for mortgages.

For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., company earned $58.7 million, or 15 cents per share. That's up sharply from $13.8 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding some charges and other items, earnings were 34 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 31 cents per share.

Revenue increased 25 percent to $1.57 billion from $1.26 billion. This topped Wall Street's estimate of $1.5 billion.

PulteGroup Inc. said Thursday that new orders rose 27 percent to 3,926. Closings climbed 20 percent to 5,154 homes, while the average selling price rose 6 percent to $287,000.

Contract backlog surged 65 percent to 6,458 homes at year end.

Full-year net income was $206.1 million, or 54 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $210.4 million, or 55 cents per share, in the previous year. Annual revenue climbed 16 percent to $4.82 billion from $4.14 billion.

Shares of PulteGroup fell 5 cents to $21 in early premarket trading.

Published: Fri, Feb 1, 2013