Homebuilder D.R. Horton’s (DHI) profit jumped 180% to $100.1 million, or 30 cents a share, in the company’s fourth quarter as sales orders grew 24%.  

That compares to a profit of $35.7 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.

These numbers invite the question about what can be expected moving into 2013. 

“We are positioned for a strong start to fiscal 2013, with our highest year-end backlog since fiscal 2007. We have continued to see strong sales demand through October and into November,” said Donald R. Horton, Chairman of the Board. 

Home cancellation rates fell to 27% from 29% a year earlier. Horton’s report seems to support the U.S. housing market recovery. D.R. Horton’s stock also increased more than 2% at $21.08 in pre-market trading.

The company’s profit grew with its footprint in the homebuilding space.

After acquiring Breland Homes in August, D.R. Homes expanded its operations to Huntsville, Alabama and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. D.R. Horton holds 13,000 homes in inventory and has 60,000 finished lots under its control, suggesting continued growth in market share and the ability to meet increased customer demand. “We look forward to continued improvement in our operating metrics and increased profitability in fiscal 2013,” Horton said. 

In a conference call, Executive Vice President and Treasurer Stacey H. Dwyer stated that 2013 looks positive for D.R. Horton. The number of employees at D.R. Horton increased 16% in 2012, Dwyer reported. Additionally, Dwyer predicted, “For fiscal 2013, we expect our SG&A percentage to improve, compared to fiscal 2012 as we close more homes.”

“Our fiscal 2012 reflects increased sales, increased gross margins, increased closings, increased backlogs, increased ASPs and improved SG&A percentage,” said Donald Tomnitz, D.R. Horton CEO.

“We are focused on prudently and profitably increasing our industry leading market share in 2013 and thereafter.”