D.R. Horton CEO Donald Tomnitz has set a bold goal for the Fort Worth, Texas-based company: four quarters of profitability in its 2010 fiscal year.

So far, so good. The company posted a $0.56 per share profit in its first quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Pulling off a profit in the quarter ended March 30 would likely be a tougher proposition; even Tomnitz said so during the company's last conference call in early February.

Turning a profit would require delivering 100% of the builder's 4,136 homes in backlog into sales by quarter's end, he said then.

Still, the company had an ace in the hole that would play a significant part in helping the company move toward profitability in its second quarter: a $352 million tax refund check it expected from the expansion of the net operating loss tax refund provision from two years to five.

The company will release its earnings results Friday morning.

Analysts' average prediction is that the company will come close to breaking even, losing a penny per share. Though the highest prediction among the analysts was a $0.09 per share profit, and the lowest was a $0.39 per share loss.

Sales numbers will be of particular interest during Friday's earning call because the company appears to have bet heavily that the extended federal home buyer tax credit, which expires at midnight Friday, would provide the company with a sales boost. Tomnitz said the company had upped its numbers of quick delivery homes significantly in preparation for the event.

The company's Web site in almost all its many markets still showed a significant number of "quick delivery" homes available.