Columbus, Ohio’s M/I Homes, joined PulteGroup in the builder earnings parade today. And, in contrast to Pulte, its EPS beat expectations. But unlike the Atlanta-based builder, orders fell short of expectations, according to J.P. Morgan’s Michael Rehaut.
Overall, M/I posted net income of $13.4 million, compared to $9.6 million in 2014’s second quarter. Its gross margins increased 60 basis points to 21.8% from 2014’s second quarter. And, its revenue increased 15% to $323 million.
“MHO reported 2Q EPS of $0.43, above our $0.40E and the Street’s $0.39 consensus,” wrote J.P. Morgan’s Michael Rehaut. “Upside to our estimate was driven by better gross margins of 20.8% vs. our 20.2%E, which drove $0.04/share of upside, while Financial Services drove $0.02/share of upside. This was partially offset by lower than expected home building revenue, which drove $0.02/share of downside.”
The number of homes M/I delivered jumped 3.3% year-over-year to 919 and its homes in backlog increased 9% to 1,794 units. Those homes had a sales value of $657 million (a 20% increase over last year’s second quarter). Overall the company is on track to increase its community count 15% this year.
“We had another strong quarter highlighted by a 43% increase in pre-tax income, an 8% increase in new contracts, and a 20% increase in our backlog sales value,” said Robert H. Schottenstein, M/I’s CEO and president. “Several factors contributed to our improved profitability, including an 11% increase in our average closing price, a 60 basis point improvement in our gross margin, and better operating leverage reflected in a 90 basis point decline in our overhead expense ratio. Our backlog sales value of $657 million includes a backlog average sales price of $366,000 - a record high for our company.”
In the quarter, M/I’s cash reached $27 million, as net debt-to-cap rose 470 bps sequentially to 44.7%. It spent $88 million on land and development during the quarter, according to Rehaut.
Today’s results shouldn’t move the needle one way or the other on M/I’s stock. “We expect a roughly neutral reaction by the stock today, as while EPS was modestly above the Street and our estimate, as gross margins were above our estimate, orders were below our estimate and we believe investor expectations,” Rehaut wrote.