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Toll Brothers (TOL) Announces Joint Venture with Gemdale

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Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL - Free Report) formed a joint venture with an affiliate of Gemdale Corporation (Gemdale Properties and Investments), one of China’s largest and leading real estate developers. Together they will develop a luxury condominium project in Manhattan.

The project consists of a two-tower, 133-unit luxury condominium building and is located in Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan. The companies have obtained $237 million of construction loan from a syndicate of five banks to finance the project.

Gramercy Park is known for its history, art, and exceptional dining facilities. The site’s location will provide its potential buyers easy access to Madison Square Park, Union Square Park, Midtown Manhattan and Silicon Alley.

Joint ventures are commonly used by foreign companies to enter a local market, benefiting from the already existing distribution network of the local company. This marks Gemdale’s fifth U.S. real estate joint venture in 13 months, and its second major project in Manhattan.

The project falls under Toll Brothers’ City Living segment, the urban development division of Toll Brothers. Notably, City Living reported revenues of $13.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, down 89.4% from $131.6 million in the prior-year quarter due to a lower number of homes delivered.

However, the company delivered 41% gross margins on $240 million of revenues from wholly-owned City Living projects in fiscal 2016. It projects revenue growth of approximately 70% from wholly-owned City Living projects for fiscal 2017 at average 37% gross margins.

Investors should note that shares of Toll Brothers declined 2% year to date, compared to 1.4% decline for the Zacks categorized Building-Residential/Commercial industry.

Nonetheless, the company expects its strong backlog, lower share count and contributions from its joint ventures to significantly contribute to its earnings per share in 2017.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Toll Brothers has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the construction sector include Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (ROCK - Free Report) , Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (HOV - Free Report) and AAON, Inc. (AAON - Free Report) .

Gibraltar sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Full-year 2016 earnings for Gibraltar are expected to grow 44.9%.

Hovnanian, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, is likely to witness 190.9% growth in fiscal 2016 earnings.

AAON carries a Zacks Rank #2. Full-year 2016 earnings for the company are expected to rise 21.4%.

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