Pulte Homes

(PHM) - Get Report

posted a rise in third-quarter earnings, due to an increase in home orders spawned from lower mortgage rates.

The company also raised its 2002 earnings outlook and provided full-year 2003 guidance.

Pulte's net income was $123.4 million, or $1.99 a share, compared with $82.8 million, or $1.52 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding results from discontinued operations, earnings came to $113.5 million, or $1.83 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $83.2 million, or $1.53 a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting the company to earn $1.81 a share, on average.

Revenue was $1.9 billion, up 25% from last year's $1.5 billion.

For full-year 2002, Pulte raised its expected earnings to a range of $7.05 to $7.15 a share from an initial prediction of $6.75 to $7 a share. Analysts expect the company to earn $6.92 a share.

Looking to 2003, the company said it expects to earn between $7.85 and $8.25 a share. Analysts' consensus came in slightly lower at $7.71 a share.

Separately, the Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based company announced a $100 million stock-repurchasing program. Depending on market conditions, stocks will be bought occasionally, the company said.