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D.R. Horton profit beats estimates as home sales increase

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D.R. Horton Inc., the largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as the company sold more properties at higher values.

Net income increased to $221.4 million, or 60 cents a share, for the three months through June 30 from $113.1 million, or 32 cents, a year earlier, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said Tuesday in a statement. The average estimate of 10 analysts was 50 cents a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

D.R. Horton has been trying to attract first-time buyers with its lower-cost Express Homes brand. U.S. home sales have been rising, spurred by historically low mortgage rates and millennials entering the market. While new-home sales fell in June from May, last month marked the 12th consecutive year-over- year increase, according to Commerce Department data released last week.

D.R. Horton’s orders increased 22 percent in the quarter from a year earlier to 10,398 homes. The value of those houses rose 25 percent to $3 billion. Homebuilding revenue jumped 37 percent to $2.9 billion.

D.R. Horton’s pretax profit margin rose 330 basis points to 11.3 percent, according to the statement. The company sells houses in 27 states, including its costlier Emerald Homes.

The shares are up 5.7 percent this year, compared with a 1.3 percent gain for the 22-member Bloomberg homebuilder index.

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