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PulteGroup Beats Earnings Estimate - Homebuilder Stocks Up

PulteGroup posted a strong quarter. The homebuilder also decided to pay back the loan it took out as a precaution at the start of the pandemic.
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Shares of PulteGroup  (PHM)  on Thursday jumped after the homebuilder reported second-quarter results that topped analyst estimates and said it paid down the $700 million it had borrowed as a precaution in March when the coronavirus pandemic started. 

The Atlanta company in the second quarter earned an adjusted $1.15 a share.  Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting PulteGroup to report earnings of 87 cents a share. 

Revenue rose 4.2% from a year earlier to $2.59 billion. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for $2.53 billion. 

"Following a period of demand weakness beginning in late March and into April as covid-19 first impacted the country, new-home sales experienced a material acceleration as the second quarter progressed," Chief Executive Ryan Marshall said in a statement.

Home-sales revenue reflected a 6% increase in closings, to 5,937 homes. That was partly offset by a 3% decrease in average sales price to $416,000. 

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Net new orders fell 4% year over year to 6,522 homes with an average sales price of $410,000, down from $426,000 a year ago. 

Gross margin for the quarter rose 0.08 percentage point from a year earlier to 23.9%. 

PulteGroup shares at last check rose 9.1% to $43.01. 

Peer homebuilder Meritage Homes  (MTH)  also reported for the second quarter, with earnings up 82% to $2.38 a share. The Scottsdale, Ariz., builder's stock recently was up 3.7% at $92.67.

Other homebuilders also rode the positive investor sentiment during Thursday's session, with M.D.C. Holdings  (MDC)  climbing 3.4%, Beazer Homes  (BZH)  gaining 1.2%, Lennar  (LEN)  rising 1.3%, KB Home  (KBH)  gaining 2.5%, and Toll Brothers  (TOL)  rising 1.1%.