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4 Factors that Emphasize William Lyon Homes' Solid Prospects

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William Lyon Homes’s (WLH - Free Report) shares have gained 2% in the past three months against its industry’s decline of 6.7%. Also, the company has outperformed the industry in the 12-week and 52-week time frame, lending the stock a Momentum Score of B.

The company’s consistent bottom-line outperformance, on the back of a healthy housing industry and strong demand trends, has imparted considerable momentum to the stock. William Lyon Homes surpassed earnings estimates consistently in three of the past four quarters.

Meanwhile, earnings estimates have risen over the past few weeks, suggesting that sentiments on William Lyon Homes are moving in the right direction. Although earnings estimates for 2018 have remained unchanged over the past 60 days, the same has moved up 6.1% for 2019.


This positive trend signifies bullish analysts’ sentiments, and the company’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) indicates robust fundamentals and expectations of outperformance in the near term. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Let’s delve deeper into the other factors that make this stock a great pick.

What Makes William Lyon Homes a Solid Bet?

Solid Performance & Expansion Strategy: William Lyon Homes recently came up with better-than-expected results in the first quarter of 2018. In addition to delivering a positive earnings surprise of 42.11%, the company’s earnings surged 145.5% in the quarter from the year-ago level, with expansion of 260 basis points in the adjusted homebuilding gross margin.

Unit orders rose 28% year over year to 1,106 homes. Unit orders were higher for all geographies except Arizona. Sales absorption (monthly average orders per community) rose 15.8% to 4.4 homes from 3.5 in the first quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, the company completed the acquisition of RSI, a Southern California and Texas-based homebuilder, and three related real-estate assets on Mar 9, 2018. This addition enhances the company’s footprint in the Inland Empire of California and marks its entry into Texas.

Impressive Expected Earnings & Revenue Growth: William Lyon Homes expects 2018 home closings to be between 4,400 and 4,700, with $2.2-$2.3 billion in total revenues.

The homebuilder’s earnings for 2018 are expected to increase 43.4% year over year, thereby making it a great pick in terms of growth investment. The company’s projected revenue growth is a healthy 24.6%.

The company’s 2019 earnings are expected to grow 20.4% on 12.5% revenue growth. The above-mentioned tailwinds have also made it a great pick in terms of Growth investment. The stock has a Growth Score of B.

Solid Industry Fundamentals: The housing/homebuilding industry has been riding high on steady job and wage growth, historically-low mortgage rates and rapidly-increasing household formation. The positive momentum is evident from the robust Zacks Industry Rank (Top 7% out of 256 industries).

As we are at the start of the key spring selling season, investors should be overwhelmed with the existing and new U.S. home-sales data for March. Despite persistently low inventories and a shoot up in price, both rose and beat market expectations.

Existing home sales in the United States rose 1.1% on a monthly basis to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.6 million in March 2018. It breezed past market expectations of a 0.2% rise to 5.54 million. Meanwhile, sales of new single-family houses, which make up about 10% of all U.S. home sales, rose 4% from the earlier month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694 thousand, marking a four-month high and beating the market consensus of 625 thousand.

A strong job market and solid U.S. economy have ensured consistent gains for homebuilding stocks.

Solid VGM Score: William Lyon Homes has a VGM Score of B. Our VGM Score identifies stocks that have the most attractive value, growth and momentum characteristics. In fact, our research shows that stocks with a VGM Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 (Buy) make solid investment choices.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other top-ranked stocks in the same space are Century Communities, Inc. (CCS - Free Report) , KB Home (KBH - Free Report) and M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC - Free Report) , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1.

Century Communities is expected to see a 38.7% rise in 2018 earnings.

KB Home’s earnings are expected to grow 48.5% this quarter.

M.D.C. Holdings’ earnings are expected to grow 27.9% in 2018.

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