DALLAS (Hanley-Wood News Service) - Centex Corporation (NYSE: CTX) today reported record financial results for both the third quarter and the nine-month period ended December 31, 2001 -- the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal 2002. Net earnings for the third quarter this year were $96,145,000, a 40% increase over $68,467,000 for the same quarter a year ago. Diluted earnings per share for the current quarter were $1.54, 38% higher than $1.12 for the same quarter in fiscal 2001. Current quarter revenues of $1,894,484,000 were 15% above $1,653,498,000 for the same quarter last year.
Centex's net earnings for the first nine months of fiscal 2002 were $264,750,000, a 51% improvement over $175,766,000 for the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share of $4.26 were 46% higher than $2.91 per diluted share for the same period a year ago. Revenues for the first nine months of fiscal 2002 totaled $5,487,262,000, 17% higher than $4,705,904,000 for the same period in fiscal 2001.
Net earnings for both the quarter and the nine-month period improved by a slightly higher percentage than diluted earnings per share due to more average shares outstanding in the fiscal 2002 periods.
For the first nine months of fiscal 2002, Centex's annualized rate of return on beginning stockholders' equity was 20.6%.
Through its subsidiaries, Dallas-based Centex ranks among the nation's leading home builders, non-bank-affiliated retail mortgage originators, and general building contractors. The company also has operations in investment real estate and home services and currently owns approximately 65% of a publicly held construction products company.
Operating earnings from Centex Homes were $134.5 million for this year's third quarter versus $100.6 million for the third quarter last year. Revenues from Conventional Homes were $1,211 million, 17% above revenues for the same quarter last year.
The 34% increase in operating earnings was achieved on a 14% gain in closings, as operating margins improved to 11.1% for the third quarter this year compared to 9.7% for the same quarter a year ago. The margin increase was mostly due to sales price increases and continued cost reductions due to lower raw materials prices and process improvements.
Sales increased progressively during the quarter, with December orders reaching 31% above last year's levels. The record third quarter backlog of sold, but not delivered, homes at December 31 was 10% above last year.