CHICAGO, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN), PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) and KB Homes (NYSE: KBH).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513
Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Homebuilder Confidence Edging Up
On Tuesday, fresh data released by the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), which reflects builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes, posted a solid 26 point year-over-year gain to 47 for December. On a sequential basis, the index was up 2 points. This marks the eighth consecutive monthly gain, the highest since May 2006, when the index stood at 46.
Though any reading under 50 still indicates weak builder confidence, a substantial progress is being witnessed.
Top U.S. builders are witnessing improving sales condition, unseen in the past half a decade. Moreover, the quality of buyers has also improved with only those who are seriously considering a purchase coming forward, thanks to stricter lending standards.
Housing start numbers are due next and we expect positive results on that front too, consistent with the uptrend in the recent months. Building permits, the best indicator of housing starts are expected to edge up.
Last six months data through October clearly indicates that the recovery in housing is gaining momentum across the country as inventory levels are declining and home prices are on the rise. There are currently 4.8 months of supply of new houses (thanks to strong sales) on the market at the current sales rate and 5.4 months of supply of existing homes. This implies that home building contractors are seeing an increase in demand. They are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and are expecting to see solid gains in 2013.
Improving housing market fundamentals are attested by the recent results of top U.S. homebuilders like Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN) and PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM), both of which posted biggest overall profits since 2006.
Stocks such as D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), and Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) can be considered as a good investment opportunity. Fourth quarter earnings from KB Homes (NYSE: KBH), which is expected to release on Thursday will provide more visibility as far as the housing market is concerned.
However, builders continue to remain a bit cautious given some fundamental challenges, which include a still fragile economy, obstacles related to project funding and less number of buyers qualifying for mortgage funding.
Nevertheless, the improving housing outlook will be one of the bright spots over the coming months in the face of other major concerns such as the US fiscal cliff and the European crisis.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.