Shares of KB Home KBH, +0.44% rose 3% in the extended session Wednesday after the home builder reported first-quarter earnings and sales that topped views, saying it saw an uptick in demand that continued into March. KB Home earned $125.5 million, or $1.45 a share, in the quarter, compared with $134.3 million, or $1.47 a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue was flat at $1.38 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.13 a share on sales of $1.32 billion. The company delivered 2,788 homes, a decline of 3%, and the average selling price increased 2% to $494,500. “As we entered the Spring selling season during the quarter, we began to see an increase in demand,” reflecting the company’s sales strategies and “stabilizing” mortgage interest rates, Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement. “As a result, we achieved a sequential improvement in our net orders in both January and February, and net orders have remained strong in the early weeks of March.” While there are “considerable interest rate and economic uncertainties, we are encouraged by this progression,” Mezger said. KB Home guided for housing revenues in a range between $5.20 billion and $5.90 billion for the year, and an average selling price in a range of $480,000 to $490,000. KB Home is “well positioned with a solid balance sheet and healthy cash flow expected for this year,” Mezger said. Its board has approved a $500 million share buyback authorization, and the company has flexibility to continue to return cash to stockholders. Shares of KB Home ended the regular trading day up 0.4%.
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