UPDATE 1-Homebuilder D.R. Horton profit beats estimates on demand for new homes

homes@ (Adds details on the qtr, shares)

July 26 (Reuters) - D.R. Horton Inc, the biggest U.S. homebuilder, topped Wall Street profit estimates on Thursday for the seventh straight quarter, fueled by higher demand for new homes and underscoring a robust housing market in the United States.

Orders, an indicator of future revenue for homebuilders, rose 12.3 percent to 14,650 homes in the third quarter ended June 30.

The results come on the heels of Wednesday's data pointing to new U.S. single-family home sales falling to an eight-month low while data for May was revised sharply down.

However, D.R. Horton, which mainly sells affordable single-family homes, sold 14,114 homes in the quarter, up from 12,497, a year earlier.

The company also said it expected 2018 pre-tax margin of 12.7 percent to 12.9 percent, from its earlier forecast of 12.1 percent to 12.3 percent.

The company's net income rose to $453.8 million, or $1.18 per share in the quarter, from $289 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 17.4 percent to $4.44 billion.

Analysts on average expected profit of $1.08 per share and revenue of $4.32 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's shares rose 3.6 percent to $40.96 in light premarket trading. (Reporting by Arunima Banerjee and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)