FRESH ON THE HEELS OF EARNINGS ANNOUNCEMENTS for 2004, the Public Home Builder's Council of America announced its aggregate projections for 2005, predicting strong growth in both top-line and bottom-line numbers for its builder members.

PHBCA members, which include 13 of the country's largest public home builders, project aggregated year-over-year earnings growth of from 10 percent to above 30 percent. Revenue growth is expected to range on average from 13 percent to above 20 percent, while year-over-year home deliveries are anticipated to grow 18 to 20 percent. Members have cited record backlogs as a key driver for strong 2005 results.

Fred Cooper, PHBCA treasurer and senior vice president of finance and investor relations for Toll Brothers, cites land management strategies as another key factor in the continued growth of public builders. “The financial and people advantages maintained by PHBCA member companies enable us to more effectively respond to the onerous regulatory burden that is imposed on home builders for obtaining land approvals. Sound land management strategies should enable the large builders, as a group, to continue to gain market share,” he says.

Jim Zeumer, incoming PHBCA president and vice president of investor relations and corporate communications for Pulte Homes, also expresses confidence in production builders' ability to hit their respective growth objectives. “Whether monthly starts rise, maintain their historical pattern, or even decline, large builders should continue to perform, grow and expand market share,” he says.

Wall Street Wonders Over The Last Five Years, PHBCA members have averaged a compounded annual EPS growth rate of more than 30 percent, according to Worldscope data. Here we've created a chart of Diluted Earnings per Share for individual member companies to show how the shareholder value of these stocks has improved over time.

Source: Information Obtained From Company Annual Reports And Public Financial Releases