PulteGroup, Inc., Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (NYSE:PHM) late Monday reported increased sales results for the first two months of 2011, another sign of a potentially better-than-expected spring selling season.
Terming what other builders normally call orders or contracts "preliminary net signups," Pulte reported a total of 2,674 homes were sold compared with 2,415 in the comparable prior-year period. The increase was muddied by what Pulte called "a change in the company's signup process," previously disclosed, that reduced reported first-quarter 2010 results by approximately 450 homes. If they were included, the gain would be reversed into a drop of slightly less than 7% in reported two-month signups on an 8% decrease in community count.
"For the first two months of 2011, we have seen good traffic and signup rates in our communities," said Richard J. Dugas, Jr., PulteGroup chairman, president and CEO. "We recorded 1,206 signups in January and 1,468 signups in February and realized a solid seasonal pickup in traffic, which increased 13% from month-to-month. While it is difficult to adjust for the impact of the Federal tax incentive in place last year, we are pleased with overall demand which is running slightly ahead of our internal business plan."
PulteGroup made the announcement in advance of several investor presentations to take place in coming weeks. Shares of PHM were up more than 3% at market open Tuesday at $6.76.