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One of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., D.R. Horton, Inc (DHI - Analyst Report) recently reached a 52-week high of $24.66 on Feb 12, 2013, on the back of strong first quarter 2013 results.

Growth Drivers

Estimates for this leading homebuilder have been moving significantly higher after the release of solid first quarter 2013 results on Jan 29.

D.R. Horton reported net earnings of 20 cents per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 versus 9 cents in the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 14 cents by 50%. The 133.3% year-over-year earnings upsurge was driven by an increase in homebuilding revenues.

Homebuilding revenues climbed 39.0% year over year to $1.23 billion, driven by price increases and double-digit growth in net sales orders, homes closed and sales order backlog. Reported revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.10 billion.

D.R. Horton has been witnessing significant growth in both volumes and selling prices for the past few quarters. Moreover, new home orders, backlogs and homes delivered have all increased in double-digit percentages in fiscal 2012 and now in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.

D.R. Horton’s homes in inventory have also been increasing. Moreover, the company is leveraging fixed costs while also increasing production due to stronger demand.

The company has also provided an optimistic outlook in the upcoming quarters. In fact, D.R. Horton has outpaced earnings estimates for four straight quarters in a row with an impressive average earnings surprise of 72.5%.  

The rising demand for new homes has led to a favorable situation in the housing market, where inventory levels are dropping and prices are moving up. D.R. Horton is optimistic about the upcoming quarters in fiscal 2013. The company is well positioned with its homes under construction, investments in land and finished lots, strong balance sheet and liquidity.

D.R. Horton carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other stocks worth a look in the industry are NVR Inc. (NVR - Snapshot Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and MDC Holdings Inc. (MDC - Snapshot Report) and Ryland Group Inc. (RYL - Snapshot Report), both carrying Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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