Scottsdale-based Meritage Homes surged past analysts’ expectations and posted its 18th consecutive year of record earnings.
Meritage reported net income of $102 million, or $3.53 per share, in the fourth quarter on Thursday. That compares with the fourth quarter of 2004 when earnings were $52 million and $1.88 a share.
“We reached $1 billion in closing revenue in the fourth quarter of 2005 and hit $3 billion for all of 2005. That’s the first time in our history,” said Larry Seay, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Meritage stock increased by more than 7 percent on the news and closed at $60.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We were happy that we were able to blow by the expectations that were out there on the street,” Seay said. “It was really caused by our margins being stronger than what we had anticipated.”
The company builds homes in desired real estate markets including Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado and Florida.