One Homebuilder Stock Is Upgraded [Housing Tracker]

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Includes: CAA, CTX-OLD, HOV, PHM
by: Judy Weil

Homebuilder Stocks

UBS Lifts Builder Hovnanian To Neutral On 'Overdone' Pullback.  Analysts at UBS kept a cautious tone on beaten-down shares of Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. even though they removed the stock from their sell list [to neutral], citing valuation after a recent decline during which it fell heavier than the home-builder group… UBS analysts David Goldberg and Susan Maklari: Since topping out in late April, Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV) shares have lost 45%, a steeper drop than the 30% decline seen for the builder group… The stock now trades at a discount relative to peer average based on book value… Hovnanian "continues to face significant liquidity constraints, reflecting its greater leverage relative to peers."  (DJ via CNN Money, June 17th)

Standard Pacific Reports 12% Drop in Orders.  “Standard Pacific (SPF): Net new home orders for the first two months of FQ2 were down 12% from FQ2’07, with a cancellation rate of 25%, down 3 percentage points from last year and up a point from Q1’08. Taking into account the number of active selling communities, a so-called "same-store" comparison, orders were down 18%, but on that same basis, orders were up "slightly" in California, up 42% in Florida and up 10% in Arizona. Those positives were outweighed, however, by a decline of 34% in net new orders in Texas, a drop of 59% in the Carolinas and a 64% plunge in Colorado.”  (Big Builder Online, June 17th)

Fitch Affirms 20 & Downgrades 9 Classes from 4 Centex Subprime Transactions.  “Fitch Ratings has taken… ratings actions on Centex (CTX-OLD) Home Equity Loan Trust mortgage pass-through certificates.”   (Trading Markets, June 17th)

Laing Launches Custom Home Division.  “At a time when many home builders are looking at affordable housing as a way to succeed in today's challenged market, John Laing Homes is moving in the opposite direction. Company management announced today that it will add a bolt-on operation to its luxury division by launching a custom-residence program. The new business, called Custom Residences, will fall within the realm of the company's Laing Luxury division.”  (Big Builder Online, June 17th)

Buyers Invited to "Summer Savings Days". Connecticut: “From June 20 to June 22, Del Webb’s [Pulte Homes (NYSE:PHM)] Oxford Greens community will hold its “Summer Savings Days” sale, during which the luxury active-adult community will offer buyers 10% off the price of selected homes. The sale overlaps Del Webb Day, taking place on June 22.”  (Stamford Plus, June 17th)

 Hot Summer Savings Weekend at Pulte Homes.  Raleigh, NC: “Pulte Homes is celebrating the official start of summer with special “Summer Savings Days” June 20-22, 2008. Pulte Homes communities throughout the Raleigh area will be open Friday through Sunday to offer homebuyers hot pricing and sizzling special offers during this special three-day sale. Limited-time “Summer Savings Days” offers in the Raleigh area include:  $10,000 - $35,000 in incentives on select homes and  1 year of Homeowner Association dues paid!”  (DBusiness News, June 16th)

 Seeking Alpha's Housing Tracker is a collection of housing-related excerpts from various sources, grouped by topic. Feel free to post any interesting links on the subject in the comments section below.

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