Hovnanian beats by $0.04, reports revs in-line (HOV) : Reports Q4 (Oct) earnings of $0.21 per share, $0.04 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of $0.17; revenues rose 21.5% year/year to $591.7 mln vs the $596.53 mln consensus.
Homebuilding gross margin percentage, before interest expense and land charges included in cost of sales, increased 430 basis points to 22.6% for the fiscal 2013 fourth quarter compared with 18.3% during the fourth quarter of 2012, and was up 230 basis points compared to the 20.3% reported for the third quarter of 2013.
Deliveries, including unconsolidated joint ventures, were 1,816 homes during the fourth quarter of 2013, up 3.8% compared with 1,750 homes in the same period of the prior year.
The dollar value of net contracts, including unconsolidated joint ventures, during the fiscal 2013 fourth quarter decreased 4.5% to $490.5 million compared with $513.4 million in last year's fourth quarter. The number of net contracts decreased 8.9% to 1,315 homes in the fiscal 2013 fourth quarter from 1,443 homes in the prior year's fourth quarter.
Contract backlog, as of October 31, 2013, including unconsolidated joint ventures, was $848.4 million for 2,392 homes, which was an increase of 14.3% and 11.5%, respectively, compared to October 31, 2012.
"Although our sales slowed from July through September due to the adverse impacts of higher mortgage rates, the sequester and the government shutdown, we are happy to report that our sales improved back to prior year levels in October and exceeded last year's levels in November. Entering 2014 with a higher backlog, gross margin and community count, gives us optimism that, excluding any expenses related to early retirement of debt, fiscal 2014 should result in greater levels of profitability and continued leveraging of our fixed costs. Further, we continue to believe that household formations, the primary driver of housing demand, will ultimately lead to increased demand for new homes and we continue to believe that our industry is still in the early stages of a housing recovery."