American homebuilder KB Home (NYSE:KBH) swung back to a profit in the third quarter, flashing yet another signal of an improving U.S. housing market.
KBH earned $3.3 million (4 cents per share), a turnaround from last year’s $9.6 million (13 cents) loss and vastly exceeding Wall Street’s estimates for a 16-cent loss. Meanwhile, revenues were up 16% to $424.5 million, though that actually fell short of expectations of $430 million.
Third-quarter net orders rose to 1,900 — up 3% from the year-ago period, which itself was 40% better than 2010. KB Home saw double-digit improvements in both the West Coast and the central U.S., while strategic repositioning cut deeply into its southwest orders.
Housing gross profit margins improved from 16.9% in Q3 2011 to 17.5% this quarter, and potential future housing revenues in backlog at Aug. 31 rose 33% to $744.7 million.
KBH shares opened more than 4% higher Friday morning. The stock has now more than doubled year-to-date.
– Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor