Los Angeles Business Journal

Orders Dampen Otherwise Good KB Home Quarter

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, December 20, 2012

KB Home on Thursday reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit with revenue up 20 percent. Shares fell 6 percent, however, with investors concerned about sluggish growth in new home orders.

The Los Angeles homebuilder reported net income of $7.7 million (10 cents a share) for the quarter ended Nov. 30, down more than 44 percent (-8 cents) compared with the same period a year earlier. The 2011 quarter included $26.4 million in gains in financial services and loan guaranty gains.

Revenue rose to $578 million. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected net income of 7 cents a share on revenue of $567 million.

The average selling price of a home rose 14 percent to $270,700, with the number of new homes delivered up 6 percent to 2,122 units. The company said growth came largely in the company’s West Coast and Central U.S. markets. But new home orders, a key metric, were up just 4 percent to 1,557 units, not as good as some other builders have been reporting.

“We are encouraged by the success of our ‘going on offense’ initiatives and the improvements we are seeing in housing markets across the country, most notably in California,” Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement.

Shares closed down 6 percent to $15.60 on the New York Stock Exchange.