As 2004's record first quarter results rolled in, CEOs at some big builders were revising projections upward for the foreseeable future. D.R. Horton, the country's largest home builder based on 2003 deliveries, increased its fiscal year 2004 forecast from $10.2 to $10.4 billion on approximately 43,000 to 44,000 homes closed. Chairman Donald Horton noted the dollar value of net new orders in both January and February increased more than 30 percent compared to the prior year. This strong sales momentum prompted the company to boost it fiscal 2005 goals to $12.0 billion in revenues on 52,000 homes closed; and fiscal year 2006 revenue targets to $14.0 billion on 63,000 homes closed.

Meanwhile, Miami-based Lennar Corp. saw revenue jump 16 percent over the prior year to a record $1.86 billion for its fiscal first quarter, which ended Feb. 29. Net income increased 31 percent to $139.3 million. The company also reported record new orders of 8,704, up 30 percent, and a backlog of $4.5 billion. CEO Stuart Miller said he was confident the company could meet its goal of 37,000 deliveries in 2004.

Dallas-based Centex Homes announced that its new home orders through January and February jumped 20.8 percent over the same period a year ago. Orders were strongest in the Southeast (up 39 percent) and Midwest (up 36 percent), and still healthy in the Southwest (up 13 percent), the West Coast (up 13 percent), and themed-Atlantic (up 10 percent).

Standard Pacific Corp., for its quarter ended Feb. 29, similarly reported record January and February new home orders, up 31 percent year over year.