May 21, 2019 / 8:46 PM / 25 days ago

Toll Brothers sees 2019 home sales below estimates

(Reuters) - U.S. luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc forecast 2019 home sales below analysts’ estimates and said it expected its margins to be squeezed by slowing demand and rising incentives.

FILE PHOTO: A Toll Brothers residential development is shown in Carlsbad, California, U.S., May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Shares of the company reversed course to fall 2% in extended trading, as orders, an indicator of future revenue, fell 9.1% to 2,424 homes in the second quarter ended April 30.

The company forecast 2019 home sales of between 7,700 and 8,100 homes in 2019. Analysts on average expected Toll to sell 8,103 homes, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Full-year adjusted home sales gross margins are expected to slip to about 23% from 23.7% it reported in 2018.

“Our guidance for adjusted home sales gross margin during the balance of the year reflects the slower demand and rising incentives associated with the challenging sales environment of the fall and winter as well as changes in mix,” Chief Financial Officer Martin Connor said.

For the latest quarter, the Pennsylvania-based Toll Brothers said average home price rose to $895,900 from $847,900 a year earlier, while the number of homes sold rose to 1,911 homes from 1,886 homes.

U.S. housing starts increased more than expected in April and activity in the prior month was stronger than initially thought, suggesting declining mortgage rates were providing some support to the struggling housing market.

The company’s net income rose to $129.3 million, or 87 cents per share, in the reported quarter from $111.8 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $1.72 billion from $1.60 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 75 cents per share and revenue of $1.54 billion for the reported quarter.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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