Another pair of big Q4 results from the homebuilders - today Pulte and Ryland - has the entire sector on the move. ITB +1.5%, XHB +1.1%.
Yes, mortgage rates put a crimp in sales, but higher prices more than made up for the difference, and D.R. Horton management suggests the sales pace has picked back up in January. Pulte reported new orders off 18% from a year ago, but the value of orders barely fell. Closings in Q4 were down 4% from 2012, but revenues gained 9%.
Taylor Morrison (TMHC +0.2%), M.D.C. Holdings (MDC +1.2%), Standard Pacific (SPF +1.4%), KB Home (KBH +3.3%), Hovanian (HOV +0.8%), Toll Brothers (TOL +0.9%)
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.
Goldman Sachs initiates or resumes coverage on several housing plays, recommending Taylor Morrison Home (TMHC), NVR (NVR), M.D.C. Holdings (MDC), KB Home (KBH), D.R. Horton (DHI) and Beazer Homes (BZH) at "Neutral" (I, II, III, IV, V, VI). Goldman resumes Meritage Homes (MTH), Toll Brothers (TOL) and Ryland Group (RYL) at "Buy" (I, II, III) and adds the latter to its Americas Conviction Buy List, but it grades PulteGroup (PHM) as a "Sell," due to growth that lags its peers.
Window, door and siding maker Ply Gem Holdings (PGEM) is set to price its 15.8M share IPO today for between $18 to $20 each, valuing the deal at around $300M. If history is any guide, the stock could be poised to have a strong debut. Already this year, three homebuilders have floated initial shares, the first in the industry since 2004. The stocks have all traded higher since, with seasoned homebuilder stocks also posting big gains this year as well.
Taylor Morrison Home (TMHC +2.5%) gets a lift from a number of companies initiating coverage today. Credit Suisse starts the shares with an Outperform rating and $30 price target, citing a couple of significant factors; above-average growth driven by U.S. margin expansion and volume growth supported by land position and community count growth. Separately, Wells Fargo also initiates coverage with an Outperform, Citi starts it with a Buy, and JPMorgan with an Overweight.
Homebuilder stocks aren't taking much encouragement off the bigger number in Housing Starts today, as the underlying data doesn't appear to be strong enough to offset yesterday's drubbing: BZH -0.7%, TMHC -0.2%, HOV -0.2%, DHI +0.9%, KBH +0.5%, PHM +1.6%, LEN +0.9%, TOL +1%. Building materials suppliers on the other hand don't care what kind of homes are being built, and are having a much better day on the news: LII +2.3%, WSO +2%, SHW +3.3%, LPX +3.6%).
Homebuilder Taylor Morrison (TMHC) +7.4% to $23.62 on its debut on the NYSE after it raised $629.2M in its IPO. The company sold 28.6M shares at $22 each, the top end of the expected range of $20-22. The size of the IPO was increased from 23.8M shares.