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D.R. Horton

(DHI) - Get Free Report

posted a 20% rise in first-quarter earnings Tuesday thanks to the strong U.S. real estate market, and said full-year targets should be achievable.

The homebuilder earned $352.8 million, or $1.11 a share, in the quarter compared with $294.0 million, or 92 cents a share, last year. Consolidated revenue rose 25% from last year to $3.54 billion, while homebuilding revenue came in at $3.47 billion in the quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting earnings of $1.11 a share on home sales of $3.42 billion in the most recent quarter.

Horton reaffirmed its full-year guidance, which calls for earnings of $5.25 to $5.35 a share on sales of more than $15.5 billion. Analysts, on average, are expecting $5.38 a share in earnings and $15.91 billion in sales.

"The company's strong performance in the first half of fiscal 2006, double-digit sales momentum and record $7.1 billion sales order backlog provide a solid foundation for achieving our 29th consecutive year of record revenues and earnings," Horton said in a release. "The company's consistently excellent financial performance, strong balance sheet and transparent financial statements have now been recognized with investment grade ratings from all three rating agencies after a recent upgrade by Standard and Poor's."