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UPDATE 3-Pulte bullish on housing demand, shares at more than 10-year high

UPDATE 3-Pulte bullish on housing demand, shares at more than 10-year high
From Reuters - October 24, 2017

(Reuters) - PulteGroup Inc (PHM.N), the No. 3 U.S. homebuilder, reported a quarterly profit that edged past estimates on Tuesday and remained upbeat on housing demand despite hurricanes that curtailed operations, sending its shares to a more than 10-year record.

While hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused significant slowdown in the quarter, demand remained robust, Chief Executive Ryan Marshall said on an earnings.

He said demand rebounded quite nicely in Houston and Florida, which were particularly hard hit.

Going forward, we expect that the ongoing job and wage growth, high consumer confidence and historically low-interest rate environment can support the continued growth of housing demand, Marshall added.

Pultes shares rose as much as 3.7 percent to $28.92 - a more than 10-year high.

During the quarter orders, a key metric of future revenue for homebuilders, rose 11 percent to 5,300 units, beating FactSets estimate of 5,107 units.

Earlier this month, bigger rival Lennar Corp (LEN.N) was also optimistic about the housing market after its quarterly results trumped estimates.

Pulte, which mainly sells single-family homes, said the average selling price increased 6.7 percent to $399,000, but missed a FactSet estimate of $407,000.

Atlanta, Georgia-based Pultes number of homes sold rose 2.3 percent to 5,151 units in the quarter ended Sept. 30, but it was its slowest growth in eight quarters. The figure also missed the estimate of 5,433 units, according to FactSet.

FACING HIGHER COSTS

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