Real Estate

Homebuilder Toll Brothers profit beats on higher demand

Key Points
  • Toll Brothers reported a first-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates.
  • The homebuilder sold more luxury homes at higher prices, mainly in the Western U.S.
  • Orders, a key metric of future revenue for homebuilders, rose 19.7 percent to 1,822 homes in the reported quarter.
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U.S. luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers reported a first-quarter profit on Tuesday that beat analysts' estimates as it sold more homes at higher prices, sending its shares up 2 percent in premarket trading.

Toll's results underscore strong demand in the housing market despite climbing interest rates and supply constraints including higher labor and raw material costs.

"The new home industry appears to be building momentum with the national homeownership rate rising over the past year," Executive Chairman Robert Toll said.

Toll Brothers said orders a key metric of future revenue for homebuilders rose 19.7 percent to 1,822 homes in the reported quarter, boosted by strong growth in the Western United States, including California.

The company's average price of homes sold increased 6.8 percent to $826,000 in the reported quarter, while the number of homes sold surged 19.6 percent to 1,423 from a year earlier.

Toll Brothers raised the lower end of its full-year average price forecast to $820,000 from $810,000, keeping the high end at $860,000.

Higher costs, however, have weighed on margins in the sector.

Toll Brothers on Tuesday forecast adjusted gross margin of 22.8 percent for the second quarter, down from the 24.3 percent it reported a year earlier.

The company also tightened its full-year revenue outlook to between $6.40 billion and $7.40 billion, from $6.24 billion to $7.48 billion.

The company's net income rose 87.6 percent to $132.1 million, or 83 cents per share, partly benefiting from the U.S. tax reform. Excluding that, it earned 63 cents a share, beating average analysts' estimate of 61 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 27.7 percent to $1.18 billion, slightly falling short of estimates.

The company's earnings have missed estimates only twice in the last eight quarters while its revenue has missed estimates for the third straight quarter.