Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE:TOL) after market close Tuesday reported net income and earnings per share of $129.3 million and $0.87 per diluted share for its fiscal second quarter ended April 30, 2019. The results compared to net income of $111.8 million and $0.72 per share diluted in FY 2018’s second quarter. The gain beat analyst estimates of a gain of $0.75 per share.

Among the results, all compared to the prior-year quarter:

New homes sold at the strongest pace in a decade last month, and this demand is driving positive outlook for home builder stocks going into 2018.
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• Pre-tax income grew 15% to $176.2 million, compared to $152.7 million in FY 2018’s second quarter.• Impairments were $19.4 million compared to $13.8 million.
• Home sales revenues were $1.71 billion, up 7%; home building deliveries were 1,911, up 1%.
• Net signed contract value was $2.00 billion, down 16%; contract units were 2,424, down 9%.
• Backlog value at second-quarter end was $5.66 billion, down 11%; units in backlog totaled 6,467, down 8%.
• Home sales gross margin was 19.7%; adjusted home sales gross margin, which excludes interest and inventory write-downs, was 23.5%.
• SG&A, as a percentage of home sales revenues, was 10.4%.
• Income from operations was 9.4% of total revenues.
• Other income and Income from unconsolidated entities was $15.7 million.

Douglas C. Yearley, Jr., Toll Brothers’ chairman and chief executive officer, stated: “We are encouraged by the improvement in demand as the quarter progressed. FY 2019’s April contracts surpassed FY 2018’s April on both a gross and per-community basis. Although the Spring selling season bloomed late, it built momentum. We view this as a positive sign for the overall health of the new home market.

“We continue to look for opportunities to grow and leverage our industry-leading brand as we expand our geographic footprint, product lines, and price points. Yesterday, we announced our entry into metro Atlanta with the acquisition of Sharp Residential. Atlanta was the largest U.S. housing market where we did not operate, and Sharp was one of Atlanta’s largest private home builders. This quarter we also opened our first communities in Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon, which are markets we have entered organically and where we are already seeing healthy buyer interest."

Yearley, Jr. concluded, “According to recent reports, builder sentiment in May rose to a 7-month high and single-family housing starts in April were up 6.2% versus March. The industry is being buoyed by low interest rates, a strong employment picture, and a still-limited supply of new homes in many markets. With a positive macroeconomic backdrop, record low unemployment, continued wage growth, and solid consumer confidence, we are optimistic about the opportunities ahead.”

Martin P. Connor, Toll Brothers’ CFO, stated: “In our second quarter, we delivered strong home building revenues and profit margins. Our guidance for adjusted home sales gross margin during the balance of the year reflects the slower demand and rising incentives associated with the challenging sales environment of the fall and winter as well as changes in mix.

He continued, “We remain well positioned to take advantage of strategic opportunities. We ended the quarter with significant liquidity and conservative leverage. We had $924.4 million in cash and cash equivalents and $1.12 billion available under our $1.295 billion, 20-bank revolving credit facility. Our debt-to-capital ratio was 42.5% and our net debt-to-capital ratio was 34.6%. Last Thursday, S&P Global Ratings upgraded their outlook on our credit rating from stable to positive. We believe this upgrade reflects positively on our strategy to balance growth with prudent financial management.”