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Higher prices boost Toll Brothers' results

HORSHAM, Pa. - Toll Brothers (TOL) second-quarter profit more than doubled as the luxury homebuilder increased prices and delivered more homes.

The results topped Wall Street estimates, and its shares jumped almost 6 percent in premarket trading.

CEO Douglas C. Yearley Jr. said in a statement on Wednesday that the company's "significant expansion over the past year in key California and Texas markets will be a major source of future growth."

Yearley said demand in the last year has been solid but relatively flat compared with initial growth in 2011 when the housing market began to recover. But the executive said that this is no different than the last recovery period in the early 1990's, which also had an upswing, leveled and then saw more growth.

"We believe that we are in a similar leveling period in the early stages of the housing recovery with significant pent-up demand building," he said.

For the three months ended April 30, Toll Bros Inc. earned $65.2 million, or 35 cents per share. That's up sharply from $24.7 million, or 14 cents per share.

Analysts predicted earnings of 27 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue for the Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company surged 67 percent to $860.4 million from $516 million, beating Wall Street's estimate of $823.3 million.

Home deliveries climbed 36 percent to 1,218 units. The average price of homes delivered was $706,000, well higher than the $577,000 in the prior-year period. The average price of net signed contracts was $729,000, compared with $678,000 a year ago.

Backlog increased 18 percent to 4,324 units.

Toll Brothers Inc. raised the lower end of its outlook for the average price of home delivered for the year. It now foresees the average price to be between $690,000 and $720,000 per home, an increase from $675,000 at the bottom end of the range in its previous guidance.

Its shares climbed $2.10, or 5.9 percent, to $37.74 in premarket trading about 2 ½ hours ahead of the market opening.

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