Toll Brothers ceo Doug Yearley talks Q4 with Bloomberg

Analysts and investors are over-occupied with near-term metrics that can send head-fakes and decoy signals as to what is ahead for a company. For home building's public titans, including Toll Brothers, operational fortitude never ceases to prevail over hyper-sensitivity to shareholder noise and quarter-to-quarter expectations.

When it comes down to it, pace (of absorptions), price, and operating margins are all that matters, and when Toll Brothers ceo Doug Yearley says, "we had a really great quarter," it tends to prove--over the long term--as exactly that.

Yearley's aware of the shifting challenges around competing at the high-end--just below custom home pricing, and its sensitivities to net household wealth trends (and the stock market) vs. the ins-and-outs of household income, which challenge other builders.

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