Homebuilder DR Horton reports better-than-expected profit

D.R. Horton bargain home in Houston.
Source: D.R. Horton

D.R. Horton, the biggest U.S. homebuilder, reported a slightly higher-than-expected profit along with a rise in orders for the last quarter of the year.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based company's net income rose to $157.7 million, or 42 cents per share in the three months ended Dec. 31, from $142.5 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier. Total revenue rose 4.8 percent to $2.36 billion.

Orders, an indicator of future revenue, rose to 8,064 homes from 7,370 in the same period of 2014.

The company, which sells under the D.R. Horton, Express Homes and Emerald Homes brands, said homebuilding revenue edged up 4.5 percent to $2.34 billion.

This was the slowest growth since fourth quarter of 2011.

Analysts on an average had expected the company to earn 41 cents per share on revenue of $2.36 billion in its fiscal first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Up to Friday's close of $27.71, D.R. Horton's shares had fallen 13.5 percent this year.