shares rose Thursday after the homebuilder said profit almost doubled in its fourth quarter, defying expectations of a slowdown in the red-hot housing market.
Net income at the Pennsylvania-based company rose 93% to $180.6 million, or $2.22 a share, vs. $93.4 million, or $1.19 a share, a year ago. Revenue jumped 62% to $1.46 billion, as virtually all of the company's business regions showed strong growth.
The consensus forecast was for a profit of $158.1 million, or $1.97 a share, on revenue of $1.43 billion.
Toll set records by a number of important measures in the quarter.
Fourth-quarter contracts grew 51% to $1.53 billion, or 2,248 homes, with the backlog up 68% to $4.43 billion, or 6,709 homes.
"With our record backlog and the current strength of demand, we enter fiscal 2005 with great optimism. Based on projected home building revenues of between $5.0 billion and $5.35 billion, we believe net income will grow at least 40% in fiscal 2005," the company said. "With demand outpacing supply in most of our affluent markets, we believe the 60,000 lots we now control represent a five-to-six year pipeline for continued growth."
In premarket trading, shares rose $2.88, or 5.3%, to $56.99, a new 52-week high.