Home builder D.R. Horton Inc. on Wednesday reported its highest quarterly and annual earnings in company history.

Net income for the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 2004, increased 52 percent to $349.6 million ($1.47 per diluted share), from $230.7 million ($0.98 per diluted share) for the same quarter of fiscal 2003.

Fourth-quarter consolidated revenue increased 23 percent to $3.5 billion, from $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003. Homes closed increased 17 percent to 13,452 homes from 11,527 homes in the year-ago quarter.

For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2004, net income increased 56 percent to $975.1 million ($4.11 per diluted share), compared to $626 million ($2.73 per diluted share) for fiscal 2003. Consolidated revenue for the year increased 24 percent to $10.8 billion, from $8.7 billion for fiscal 2003. Homes closed increased 21 percent to 43,567 homes from 35,934 homes in fiscal 2003.

The company’s sales backlog of homes under contract at Sept. 30, 2004 was a fiscal-year-end record $4.6 billion (17,184 homes), up 25 percent from $3.7 billion (15,488 homes) at Sept. 30, 2003. As previously reported, net sales orders for the fourth quarter were $2.8 billion (11,105 homes), an increase of 17 percent compared to $2.4 billion (10,114 homes) for the same quarter of fiscal 2003. Net sales orders for fiscal year 2004 increased 24 percent to $11.4 billion (45,263 homes), compared to $9.2 billion (38,725 homes) for fiscal 2003.

The company expects diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, to be in the range of $0.85 to $0.90 (approximately 237.5 million diluted shares). The company expects diluted earnings per share for fiscal year 2005 to be in the range of $4.50 to $4.70 (approximately 238.5 million diluted shares). In fiscal-year 2005, the company expects to close more than 50,000 homes and generate revenues in excess of $12 billion.

D.R. Horton currently builds and sells homes in 21 states and 63 markets, with a geographic presence in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and Western regions of the United States. The company also provides mortgage financing and title services for home buyers through its mortgage and title subsidiaries.

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