D.R. Horton narrows 4Q loss, posts year-end profit
D.R. Horton (DHI) narrowed its net loss to $8.9 million, or 3 cents a share, for its fiscal fourth quarter, as the homebuilder had fewer write-downs but still faced significant challenges with end of the homebuyer tax credit. For the year-ago fourth quarter, the company reported a loss of $234.9 million, or 74 cents a share. Revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 fell to $925.7 million from $1.01 billion a year earlier. D.R. Horton attributed the quarterly decrease in revenue to an increase in income tax provisions, up to $7.2 million from $5.8 million a year ago. For its fiscal year, Fort Worth-based D.R. Horton earned $245.1 million, or 77 cents a share, compared to a loss of $549.8 million a year ago. Revenue was up 19% to $4.3 billion from $3.6 billion a year ago. D.R. Horton said the results are a positive sign in an otherwise weak and unstable market. President and CEO Donald Tomnitz said the company integrated new communities under options contracts into its portfolio, with a focus on finished lots and active communities. Next year, D.R. Horton plans to continue its community growth and penetrate its existing communities to increase market share. But the builder said, ultimately, growth "will be dependent on sales demand." D.R. Horton's average closing price on homes increased 10% to $215,200 because the firm closed more deals on the West Coast where home prices are higher. The company closed 4,281 home sales in the fourth quarter and 20,875 worth $4.3 billion during its fiscal year. The firm said the average FICO score of homebuyers in the fourth quarter was 719 and the average loan-to-value ratio was 90%. Eligible government loans accounted for 63% of D.R. Horton's sales volume for the quarter. At the end of fiscal 2010, the homebuilder held $1.3 billion worth of assets on its balance sheet. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Disclosure: The author holds no relevant investments.