The company’s shares were up 8.54 per cent as at about 10:30 a.m. EDT, trading at $23.13.
For the quarter that ended December 31, 2012, earnings soared 139 per cent to $66.3 million or 20 cents per diluted share, compared to $27.7 million or nine cents per diluted share a year earlier.
Homebuilding revenue for the first quarter increased 39 per cent to $1.2 billion, from $0.9 billion in the same quarter of 2012. Homes closed in the quarter rose 26 per cent to 5,182, compared to 4,118 homes a year ago.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had been forecasting per share earnings of 14 cents per share on revenue of $1.1 billion.
“This quarter was our most profitable first quarter since 2007, with $107.9 million of pre-tax income, a 270% increase from the year-ago quarter,” said chairman Donald R. Horton.
“We experienced broad improvement in demand in most of our markets this quarter, and we significantly increased our investments in homes under construction, finished lots, land and land development to capture this increasing demand. D.R. Horton is the best positioned it has been in its 35 year history,” concluded Horton.
The homebuilder has operations in 77 markets in 26 states in the U.S. East, Midwest, Southeast, South Central, Southwest and West regions, selling new homes in the $100,000 to over $600,000 price range.
D.R. Horton said net sales orders increased 39 per cent to 5,259 homes from 3,794 homes in the year-ago quarter, and the value of net sales orders increased 60 per cent to $1.3 billion from $0.8 billion.
The company’s cancellation rate was 22 per cent, while sales order backlog of homes under contract increased 62 per cent to 7,317 homes.
The value of the backlog increased 80 per cent to $1.8 billion, said D.R. Horton.
The homebuilder ended the quarter with $643.1 million of homebuilding unrestricted cash and marketable securities and a net homebuilding debt to total capital of 33.0 per cent.