#9: D.R. Horton
YTD Performance: +75%
D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI) is the first of a few homebuilding stocks that have blown up in 2012 thanks to what looks like a bottoming in the U.S. housing market. A host of data points have shown that housing is looking up, and a bunch of favorable earnings reports from leading builders indicate that business is picking up.
Take the Aug. 22 report from Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) that showed a 57% surge in contracts and a 59% increase in deposits on future contracts. Toll is a luxury homebuilder targeting those making $100,000 a year or more, but the movement still is impressive.
D.R. Horton had some pretty impressive earnings itself for its third quarter, with earnings per share jumping from just 9 cents in Q3 of 2011 to a whopping $2.22 this year! Considering full-year estimates were for just 68 cents total, this performance really caused a stir.
Investors have been piling into DHI and other builders as a result of this seeming turnaround.