D.R. Horton Inc. said Friday it turned a profit in the fiscal second quarter as the homebuilder reported a 19 percent increase in completed sales.
The company also reported a 55 percent spike in new home orders as its results outpaced analysts' expectations.
The builder said it had a profit of $11.4 million, or 4 cents a share, for the three months ended March 31. A year earlier, it had a loss of $108.6 million, or 34 cents a share.
Revenue was $896.8 million, up 16 percent from $775.3 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 1 cent per share on revenue of $863 million.
D.R. Horton beat expectations with strong sales activity in the quarter. Completed sales increased to 4,260 homes from 3,585 a year earlier. New home orders increased to 6,438 from 4,160 in the year-ago period.
Home sales have been buoyed by two federal tax credits for homebuyers, with sales of new U.S. homes surging 27 percent last month.
The government is offering an $8,000 credit for first-time buyers and $6,500 for current homeowners who buy and move into another property. Buyers must have a signed contract by Friday and must complete the transaction by the end of June.
Still, some economists think home sales will weaken after the tax credits expire. Sales also could take a hit if mortgage rates, which have hovered around 5 percent this year, start to rise.
Company Chairman Donald R. Horton said homebuilders still face challenges, including rising foreclosures, high unemployment, tight lending standards and the expiration of government incentives.
"However, new home inventory remains low, interest rates are favorable and housing affordability is near record highs," Horton said in a statement.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based homebuilder also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 3.75 cents per share. The dividend is payable May 24 to stockholders of record on May 14.
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