Hovnanian ( HOV) saw first-quarter earnings rise 29% from a year ago as home sales continued to be brisk, although the company missed analysts' top-line estimates and the stock sagged in after-hours trading. Red Hook, N.J.-based Hovnanian earned $57.7 million, or $1.74 a share, on revenue of $775.2 million in the latest quarter, compared to earnings of $44.8 million, or $1.43 a share, on revenue of $627.6 million a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson One Analytics had been forecasting earnings of $1.74 a share on revenue of $785.1 million in the most recent quarter. The shares slipped on the Island ECN, falling to $83.30 from their 4 p.m. EST close of $83.50. Hovnanian said contracts totaled 3,225 homes in the latest quarter, up 50% from last year, while deliveries totaled $760.1 million in the quarter, up from $609.5 million a year ago. For the current fiscal year, Hovnanian expects to earn more than $9.50 a share on revenue of $3.9 billion, compared to analysts' expectations of $3.8 billion.