Mar. 20, 2014, 12:05 AM
Mar. 19, 2014, 5:30 PM
Mar. 12, 2014, 9:54 AM
- The homebuilders are under pressure in early action amid another set of downgrades for individual names (Toll Bros., Pulte, Lyons today), and another slowdown in mortgage applications.
- The MBA Mortgage Application Index fell 2.1% last week, with the Purchase Index off 1% on the week and 17% from a year ago.
- Reporting on Credit Suisse's latest monthly agent survey, CNBC's Diana Olick says homebuyer traffic is falling and demand is "underwhelming," but the respondents cite higher rates and home prices, not the weather.
- XHB -1.3%, ITB -1.7%.
- Individual names: Hovnanian (HOV -1%), Lennar (LEN -1.2%) D.R. Horton (DHI -1.3%), Ryland (RYL -1.5%), KB Home (KBH -1.9%), Standard Pacific (SPF -1.5%), MDC Holdings (MDC -1.9%).
Mar. 5, 2014, 10:46 AM
- A check of the homebuilders following Hovnanian's big earnings miss and slowdown in closings (HOV now down 6.6%): NVR (NVR -1.5%), D.R. Horton (DHI -1.1%), KB Home (KBH -1.8%), Pulte (PHM -0.8%), Ryland (RYL -1.5%), Toll Bros. (TOL -0.3%), Lennar (LEN -1%).
- So what's the SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB +0.1%) doing in the green? The ETF has a heavy weighting to those tangential to the homebuilding industry - retail home improvement, building suppliers. More of a pure-play homebuilder fund is the iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB -0.8%).
Mar. 4, 2014, 10:54 AM
- Home prices rose 0.9% in January from the previous month and 12% from a year ago, according to CoreLogic, the 23rd consecutive month of Y/Y increases. Excluding distressed sales, home prices rose 9.8% from last year.
- The group's pending indicator shows prices are set to rise 0.7% in February and 12.5% from a year ago. Chief economist Mark Fleming: "The last time January month-over-month and year-over-year price appreciation was this strong was at the height of the housing bubble in 2006."
- A check of the homebuilders: XHB +1.3%, ITB +1.3%.
- In other news, KeyCorp cashes in on Lennar (LEN), cutting the stock to Hold from Buy, and boosts PulteGroup (PHM +0.6%) to a Buy from Hold.
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:34 AM
- Brutal winter weather has been the excuse for a long string of weak economic stats this year, but not January New Home Sales, which surged 9.6% from December to a seasonally adjusted annualized pace of 468K - a 5-year high. Expectations were for a drop to 400K. December sales were revised higher from 414K to 427K.
- The median sales price rose 3.4% Y/Y to $260,100.
- The Northeast led the way with a 73.7 jump. Sales climbed 11% in the West, and 10.4% in the South. In the MidWest, they dropped 17.2%.
- Full report
- The homebuilders cheer. ETFs: XHB +1.9%, ITB +2.2%. Individual names: TOL +1.8%, HOV +2%, RYL +2.9%, KBH +2.5%, LEN +2.7%, PHM +2.3%.
Feb. 11, 2014, 9:10 AM
- Zigging while many are zagging, Raymond James downgrades Lennar (LEN) and KB Home (KBH) after lower rates and strong Q4 earnings reports had given a lift to the homebuilding sector. Lennar is still rated an Outperform, but no longer a Strong Buy. KB Home is cut to Underperform from Market Perform.
- In maybe somewhat-related moves, RayJay cuts St. Joe (JOE) and apartment operator Post Properties (PPS) to Market Perform from Outperform.
- LEN -0.6%, KBH -1.5%, JOE -1% premarket
- In another homebuilder downgrade, JMP Securities takes Tri Pointe Homes (TPH) to Market Perform from Outperform.
Feb. 6, 2014, 8:16 AM
- Lennar (LEN) +2.3% premarket after Goldman Sachs upgrades shares to Conviction Buy from Neutral with a $48 price target, from $38.
- Goldman thinks the market is valuing LEN almost exclusively for its core homebuilder business, while ascribing little value to its ancillary businesses; the firm's deep dive on FivePoint communities, Rialto and Multifamily drives its 2014-15 EPS estimates a respective 2% and 9% above consensus.
- The firm expects new home sales growth to accelerate to 20% by Q4 2014 from 5% in Q1.
- ETFs: XHB, ITB.
Jan. 31, 2014, 11:49 AM
- The homebuilders continue a big move higher this week as the sector reports better-than-expected results from Q4, and now has the tailwind of lower rates behind it. Off four basis points to 2.66% today, the 10-year Treasury yield has tumbled about 35 basis points in January.
- A couple of upgrades has Jefferson Research raising D.R. Horton (DHI +3.5%) to a Buy and RayJay upping Pulte Group (PHM +4.5%) to Outperform.
- ETFs; XHB +1.4%, ITB +2.3%
- Toll Brothers (TOL +3%), NVR (NVR +3.6%), William Lyons (WLH +1.1%), Hovnanian (HOV +2.2%), Lennar (LEN +3.4%)
- The New Home Company (NWHM) is up 10% from last night's IPO price of $11, but the pricing range had been expected at $15-$17 per share.
Jan. 28, 2014, 10:15 AM
- The homebuilders have their tails in their air following D.R. Horton's big earnings results which showed reports about the end of the housing recovery may be premature (DHI +8.5%). The company reported average sales price gains of 10%, orders by value up 14%, and the value of properties under contract up 20%.
- "Our weekly sales pace has accelerated in January," says Chairman Don Horton.
- XHB +1.6%, ITB +3%
- Toll Brothers (TOL +3.2%), Lennar (LEN +4.3%), KB Home (KBH +3.8%), Hovnanian (HOV +3.3%), Ryland (RYL +3.2%), Standard Pacific (SPF +3.2%), Comstock (CHCI +3.9%), Pulte (PHM +2.7%), NVR (NVR +1.4%), M.D.C. Holdings (MDC +3.6%), Taylor Morrison (TMHC +4.2%)
Jan. 24, 2014, 8:05 AM
- "Longer-term we believe builders have upside, but now offer only moderate risk-adjusted upside if 2014 meets expectations, with greater downside potential amid rising rates or lower than expected growth," says analyst Kenneth Zener, throwing in the towel on Buy ratings for D.R. Horton (DHI) and MDC Holdings.
- The stocks trade at about 2x adjusted book value, says Zener, and builders only traded above that level for 16% of the time since 1978.
- His team maintains Buy ratings on Toll Bros. (TOL) and Lennar (LEN) despite the aging of the"spring" trade, but based on long-term growth prospects and their longer land positions.
Jan. 17, 2014, 9:49 AM
- December housing starts of 999K fell 9.8% from November, but are up 1.6% from a year ago. SIngle family starts of 667K fell 7% from last month. For the full year, an estimated 923.4K housing units were started, up 18.2% from 2012.
- Building permits of 986K declined 3% M/M, rose 4.6% Y/Y. For the full year, an estimated 974K units were authorized, up 17.5% from 2012.
- Full report
- XHB -0.75%, ITB -0.8%.
- Builders: Toll Bros. (TOL -1.1%), Lennar (LEN -1.6%), Hovnanian (HOV -1.1%), Ryland (RYL -1.6%), D.R. Horton (DHI -1.1%), Pulte (PHM -1.4%), KB Home (KBH -0.9%).
Jan. 15, 2014, 4:47 PM
Dec. 23, 2013, 2:22 PM
- Homebuilders and private mortgage insurers are partying thanks to incoming FHFA chief Mel Watts' weekend move to postpone an increase in fees which would have raised significantly raised mortgage costs for those with good, but not stellar credit and less than 20% to put down.
- "This is a victory for the housing finance industry," says FBR's Edward Mills. "We believe that this is the first of a series of decisions by incoming Director Watt to preserve/expand mortgage credit availability ... We view this announcement as positive for housing generally, but specifically for private mortgage insurers, originators, and homebuilders."
- Homebuilder ETFs: XHB +2%, ITB +2.8%.
- Homebuilder names: Toll Brothers (TOL +3.9%), Putle (PHM +5%), Lennar (LEN +3.2%), KB Home (KBH +6.9%), Hovnanian (HOV +4.8%), D.R. Horton (DHI +2.8%), Standard Pacific (SPF +4%).
- Mortgage insurers: Radian (RDN +4.1%), MGIC (MTG +1.1%), Genworth (GNW +1.6%), Old Republic (ORI +0.7%), NMI Holdings (NMIH +1.1%). Essent Group (ESNT -0.6%) is off a hair, but up 29% since its late-October IPO.
- Not showing much reaction today, but potentially set up to disappoint if the GSEs do not allow any private oxygen in mortgage finance are Redwood Trust (RWT -0.2%) and PennyMac Financial (PFSI +1.2%).
Dec. 18, 2013, 7:12 AM
- Lennar (LEN) Net profit +32% to $164.1M, including a $94M tax provision.
- Deliveries of homes +27% to 5,650.
- New orders +13% to 4,498; in dollar terms, +34% to $1.4B.
- However, "the political and interest rate environment, and our previously initiated price increases tempered new sales orders," says Lennar CEO Stuart Miller.
- Backlog +19% to 4,806 homes, or +40% to $1.6B.
- Gross margin on home sales 26.8%, up 330 bps.
- Operating margin on home sales 16.9%, +470 bps.
- "We begin 2014 with a strong balance sheet and a clearly defined strategy," says Miller. "We are extremely well positioned across all of our platforms to continue to grow profitably our operations and capitalize on the opportunities of a recovering housing market and economy."
- Shares +4.8%. (Previous) (PR)
Dec. 18, 2013, 6:02 AM
LEN vs. ETF Alternatives
Lennar Corp is a homebuilder and a provider of financial services. Its homebuilding operations include the construction and sale of single-family attached and detached homes, and to a lesser extent multi-level residential buildings.
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