By Wendy Leibowitz.
1. Centex Corp. (for quarter ending March 31, 2003)
gross revenues: $2.08 billion percent increase: 33%
net earnings: $196.67 million percent change: 67%
number of closings: 2,056
2. Pulte Homes (for quarter ending March 31, 2003)
gross revenues: $1552.6 billion percent increase: 11%
net earnings: $86.3 million percent change: 26%
number of closings: 5,785
3. Meritage Corp. (for quarter ending March 31, 2003)
gross revenues: $283.4 million percent increase: 67%
net earnings: $15.8 million percent change: 84%
number of closings: 1,136
4. The Ryland Group (for quarter ending March 31, 2003)
gross revenues: $659.7 million percent increase: 22.3%
net earnings: $38.2 million percent change: 47%
number of closings: 2,950
5. KB Home (for quarter ending Feb. 28, 2003)
gross revenues: $1.09 billion percent increase: 20%
net earnings: $52.8 million in 2003 percent change: 24%
number of closings: 5,025

Big builders' first quarter earnings blew away expectations. For the quarter ending March 31, Centex Corp. announced the highest earnings for any quarter in its history, a 69 percent increase per share compared to a year ago. But Centex was in good and crowded company. For its quarter ending April 30, Toll Brothers reported contracts of $927 million -- the highest for any quarter in its company's history. Almost anywhere you looked, at any indicator, big builders were bursting out all over.