It's a different story (at least for the stock price) with Hovanian (HOV +5.9%) after its earning report today. Management: "It's an understatement to say that the past 12 months have been choppy ... Given the gains we've seen in employment, we would have expected stronger home sales."
The early results are being released in conjunction with Toll's (NYSE:TOL) presentation at a conference to take place on Thursday. The full report is set for December 10.
Fiscal Q4 revenue of $1.35B and 1,087 units up 29% in dollar terms and 22% in unit terms Y/Y. ASP of $747K vs. $703K a year ago.
Net signed contracts of $970.2M and 1,282 units up 16% in dollar terms and 10% in units Y/Y. ASP of net contracts of $757K vs. $721K a year ago. On a per-community basis, net signed contracts of 5.01 compares to 5.17 a year ago.
Backlog of $2.72B and 3,679 units up 3% in dollars and flat in units Y/Y.
"We have seen some lessening of pricing power in the past year," says Toll Brothers (TOL -2.6%) chief Douglas Yearley, quickly adding the company does not yet see the need to boost incentives to spur sales.
Fiscal 2014 guidance: Deliveries now expected at 5.3K-5.5K homes from 5.1K-5.85K previously (midpoint drops to 5.4K from 5.475K); ASP of deliveries of $710K-$725K from $690-$720K.
Gross margin is expected to be 185-200 bps higher than 2013 vs. previous guidance of 175-200 bps improvement.
Expected selling communities is now at 255-275 vs. 250-290 previously.
A far-faster-than-expected 15.7% gain in housing starts in July has the homebuilders sharply higher. Lenner (LEN +2.6%), Comstock (CHCI +5.8%), Ryland (RYL +2.4%), Hovnanian (HOV +3.2%), D.R. Horton (DHI +2.1%), Toll Bros. (TOL +1.4%), PulteGroup (PHM +1.1%), KB Home (KBH +1.9%).
Commenting on the number, Bill McBride notes starts in Q1 averaged 925K on a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate, 997K in Q2, and that Q3 appears to be off to a solid start (1.093M in July). By year's end, McBride expects 2014 housing starts to increase by a double-digit pace over a weak 2013.
The ITB is lower by 1.5% and the XHB by 0.7% with earlier earnings misses from Pulte (PHM -1.5%) and D.R. Horton (DHI -5%). and just-released disappointing new home sales data weighing. Also reporting this morning was M/I Homes (MHO -3.2%), and that company beat estimates.
June single-family new home sales of 406K fell 8.1% from May's rate of 442K (which was revised down from 504K). Expectations for June sales were 479K.
The supply of new homes rises to 5.8 months at June's sales pace from 5.2 months previously.
Other names: Lennar (LEN -1.6%), Ryland (RYL -2.3%), Standard Pacific (SPF -2%), Hovnanian (HOV -0.9%), Toll Brothers (TOL -2.2%).
May's adjusted annual pace of 504K new home sales is the fastest print in six years. The number is 18.6% above April's pace and 16.9% higher than a year ago. The supply of new homes on the market at the current sales pace dropped to 4.5 months worth from 5.3 months in April.
Sales in the Northeast jumped to 34K from 22K in April, and those in the West to 130K from 97K.
The averages are nudging higher, but not the homebuilder names after Owens Corning cuts 2014 guidance on continued weakness in its roofing business.
Soft action in Q1 continued through April and May, says the company, which now sees H1 roofing volumes as much as 20% lower than 2013. Owens still expects H2 to be better, but is less confident of that forecast today than it was a few months ago.