Toll Brothers 4Q profit drops about 70% to $15 million
Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL) said Tuesday its fourth-quarter profit fell about 70% to $15 million, or 9 cents per share, compared to $50.5 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier. The homebuilder said its profit drop is attributed to inventory and joint venture write-downs, as well as debt retirement charges. In addition, the firm enjoyed a significant tax benefit in the fourth-quarter of 2010, which buoyed last year's 4Q income. The company said without the charges, fourth-quarter pretax income would have hit $33.9 million, up from $18.1 million last year. On the other hand, the firm's overall fourth-quarter revenue grew to $427.8 million from $402.6 million last year. For its entire 2011 fiscal year, which ended Oct. 31, the company earned $39.8 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3.4 million, or 2 cents a share, for fiscal year 2010. The Horsham, Pa.-based homebuilder experienced another positive in the fourth quarter with home building deliveries hitting $427.8 million and growing to 757 units, compared to $402.6 million and 700 units, a year earlier. The average fourth-quarter contract price for a Toll Brothers home hit $606,000, up from $565,000 last year, suggesting values are going up in the high-priced home segment. In the fourth quarter, the firm signed contracts worth $390 million, up 24% from last year. Write to Kerri Panchuk.