D.R. Horton Reports Higher Earnings as Tight Supplies Fuel Sales

D.R. Horton Inc., the largest U.S. homebuilder, reported an increase in fiscal third-quarter earnings as a limited number of existing properties on the market helped fuel demand for new houses.

Net income for the three months through June climbed to $249.8 million, or 66 cents a share, from $221.4 million, or 60 cents, a year earlier, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said in a statement Thursday. The average estimate of 12 analysts was for earnings of 65 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

D.R. Horton, which has a heavy presence in the Texas and Florida markets, is expanding its geographic base and boosting sales volume through the company’s entry-level Express brand, which attracts buyers discouraged by tight supplies for existing homes. Single-family home starts in the U.S. increased 4.4 percent last month, to the highest level since February, Commerce Department data showed this week.

The company has “grown in excess of the industry relatively consistently for probably the last 10 quarters,” Megan McGrath, an analyst with MKM Holdings LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said by phone. “And their plan to go after the entry-level buyer appears to be successful.”

Homebuilding revenue rose to $3.1 billion in the third quarter, up 9 percent from a year earlier, D.R. Horton said. Home sales completed in the quarter climbed 9 percent to 10,739.

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