Good News: Housing Sector Soars
Shares of home builders, home-improvement retailers and home-furnishers were all up on Thursday, following some good news in the sector.
The company posted a 47% increase in sales of completed homes and 63% jump in orders from the first quarter. Lennar also saw a 15% cancellation rate, smaller than the 22% rate in the year prior.
Revenue declined to $891.9 million, from $1.13 billion last year, but Lennar still managed to beat Wall Street's estimate of revenue of $597.5 million.Shares of Lennar soared 17% to $9.12 in afternoon trading, and shares of other home builders followed suit. Centex (CTX) grew 6.5% to $8.64, KB Home (KBH) spiked 8% to $14.73, Toll Brothers (TOL) grew 5% to $17.06 and Pulte Homes (PHM) was up 6% to $9. The momentum trickled down to home furnishers and home-improvement retailers. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) skyrocketed 10% to $31.30 in afternoon trading, a day after reporting an unexpected gain in first-quarter earnings. Home Depot (HD) grew 4% to $23.59, while rival Lowe's (LOW) also bumped up 4% to $18.86. J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers said in a note on Thursday that both retailers are on solid ground going forward. Home Depot is working on improving its merchandise, systems and supply chain, while Lowe's is focused on fine-tuning its model. But how long will this winning street last? Only yesterday the Commerce Department announced that new home sales in the United States slipped .6% in May to 342,000, falling short of economists' forecast. And sales of previously owned homes rose 2.4%, but also missed expectations.
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