Industry News

Builders’ stocks regroup after slide

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Some major home builders rode out mild slumps during a period of interest-rate gains and are now enjoying stock-price stabilization or growth as interest rates have crept back down. Housing starts are up 8.3 percent nationwide from June 2004 to July 2004, and building permits are up 5.7 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today, which is good news for the building industry. Pulte Homes Inc.'s stock dropped quickly in April and May but has since rebounded, reaching a record-high of $58.91 on Monday. In September, Pulte's stock dipped to $31.84, which was the low point for the past year. Pulte reported total revenue of $2.52 billion in the period ending June 30, 2004, compared with $2.04 billion for the period ending March 31, 2004. And gross profit was at $736 million in the second quarter, compared with $226.5 million in the first quarter. Pulte has operations in 44 U.S. markets in 27 states, and also has international home-...