Home Builders Down Following Weak Report

Home builder stocks (NYSEARCA:XHB) slip in the wake of a new Commerce Department report that showed a 2.2 percent drop in sales of new homes in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, according to Barron’s. NVR (NYSE:NVR), for example, fell 3.6 percent.

Builders have seen growth recently with the strengthening of the housing market — home sales in November were at their highest point since April 2011. Many home builders have posted strong returns in the past three months, with Lennar (NYSE:LEN) rising 36% during that time.

Economists at RDQ Economics said the report is weaker than others on recent housing activity, including the areas of homebuilder sentiment, single-family housing starts, building permits and existing home sales. “New home sales continue to bounce around at low levels—the 307,000 reading for December is little different than the 309,000 average for the fourth quarter and the 303,000 average for 2011 as a whole,” they said.

Here’s how homebuilders are trading now:

Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE:TOL): TOL shares recently traded at $22.52, down $0.71, or 3.06%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $13.16 to $23.68. Volume today was 1,648,758 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,111,280 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 93.83, while trailing earnings are $0.24 per share.

NVR Inc. (NYSE:NVR): NVR shares recently traded at $715.83, down $31.01, or 4.15%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $554.71 to $795.95. Volume today was 56,510 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 35,707 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 26.69, while trailing earnings are $26.83 per share.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN): LEN shares recently traded at $22.32, down $0.48, or 2.11%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $12.14 to $23.11. Volume today was 3,200,320 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,256,040 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 46.50, while trailing earnings are $0.48 per share.

PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM): PHM shares recently traded at $7.86, down $0.13, or 1.63%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $3.29 to $8.48. Volume today was 6,310,075 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 12,212,500 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-1.03 per share.

MDC Holdings Inc. (NYSE:MDC): MDC shares recently traded at $21.03, down $0.28, or 1.31%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $14.79 to $32.30. Volume today was 470,422 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,032,180 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-2.37 per share.

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:HOV): HOV shares recently traded at $2.67, up $0.04, or 1.52%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $0.89 to $5.00. Volume today was 4,983,476 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 1,884,800 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-2.85 per share.