Meritage Homes Corporation
) recently revealed preliminary fourth quarter and fiscal year
2013 numbers, which is scheduled to release on Feb 5. The company
expects double-digit increase in home closing revenues; number of
homes closed, net order and order value during the quarter. The
company also expects significant increase in home closing gross
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Fourth Quarter 2013
Meritage's home closing revenues in the fourth quarter of 2013 is
expected to be around $533 million, up 47.0% year over year.
Year-over-year growth in home closing revenues is expected to be
driven by an 18% increase in the number of homes closed and a
hike in average closing prices. The company is expected to close
1,468 home during the quarter.
Meritage expects total order value of about $415 million in the
quarter, up 17% from the prior year quarter. Net orders during
the quarter are expected to total 1,131 homes, up 3% year over
year. Monthly orders and order value is expected to increase
The company expects backlog of 1,853 units as of Dec 31, 2013, up
26%. Total value of the backlog is expected to be about $687
million, up 43% year over year.
During the fourth quarter of 2013, the company expects 400 to 425
basis points increase in home closing gross margin.
Meritage's home closing revenues in fiscal 2013 are expected to
be about $1.78 billion, up 51.0% year over year. Year-over-year
growth in home closing revenues is expected to be driven by a 24%
increase in the number of homes closed and a hike in average
closing prices. The company is likely to close 5,259 home during
Meritage expects total order value of $1.98 billion in 2013, up
40% from the prior year. Net order during 2013 is likely to be
5,615 homes, up 17% year over year.
The company has been witnessing strong top-line growth and margin
expansion. However, the sales pace of the company has slowed down
owing to headwinds like recent spike in mortgage rates, rising
home prices, tight credit availability and the political
uncertainty in Washington.
Meritage Homes Corporation currently carries a Zacks Rank #4
However, some better-ranked stocks in the homebuilding sector
Beazer Homes USA Inc.
William Lyon Homes
Standard Pacific Corp.
). While Beazer Homes and William Lyon Homes carry a Zacks Rank
#1 (Strong Buy), Standard Pacific carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).