Bloomberg News

Toll Gains After Construction Spending Rises: Wilmington Mover

February 02, 2012

Feb. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, rose after construction spending increased and a Barclays Capital economist said the housing market is stabilizing.

The Horsham, Pennsylvania-based company climbed 3 percent to $22.46 at the close of New York trading.

Construction spending in the U.S. rose 1.5 percent in December, Commerce Department figures showed today. That was more than the median analyst estimate of a 0.5 percent gain. The increase, which included a 0.8 percent gain in home construction, was the biggest jump since August.

“The report continues to suggest that the residential housing sector is stabilizing and making an effort to start improving,” Troy Davig, a senior U.S. economist at Barclays, said in a note today.

Toll Brothers in December reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as prices rose and sales improved at its East Coast subdivisions. Chief Executive Officer Douglas Yearley Jr. said in an interview last month that the company expects New York City to be its strongest housing market this year.

Nationwide, Toll expects to sell “not that much more” than 2,600 homes in 2012, according to Yearley. The company sold 2,611 homes in fiscal 2011, according to its Dec. 6 earnings statement.

--With assistance from Oshrat Carmiel and Alexander Kowalski in New York, John Gittelsohn in Los Angeles and Neil Callanan in London. Editors: Daniel Taub, Christine Maurus

To contact the reporter on this story: Jef Feeley in Wilmington, Delaware at jfeeley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Taub at dtaub@bloomberg.net


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