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KB Home’s revenues up 29% in Q3

BY HBSDEALER Staff

KB Home reported growth in both revenue and income for the third quarter, with total revenue up 29% to $549 million, compared with a third-quarter 2012 reading of $424.5 million.

The average selling price of a home increased 22% to $299,100, year-over-year. This represents 13 consecutive quarters of year-ago gains.

Net income increased to $27.3 million, up drastically from year-ago figures of $3.3 million. When considering the nine-month period ended Aug. 31, net income went from a loss of $66.7 million in 2012 to a positive net of $11.8 million this year.

The company partially attributed the growth to its investment in land-constrained growth markets in higher-income areas.

"The fundamentals of the current housing recovery are firmly in place, supported by low inventory levels, an improving economy and positive demographic trends," said president and CEO Jeffrey Mezger. "Given these factors, we believe that the recent slower pace of the recovery caused by an uptick in mortgage interest rates is a temporary effect, and we expect to see steady upward demand for housing as consumers adjust to both higher rates and pricing. In balancing community count, sales pace and margin expansion in this environment, our revenues and net income improved substantially during the third quarter, while our net orders moderated. Nonetheless, we believe there is tremendous potential in our served markets and that we are well-positioned for future growth."

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Apex Tool Group announces two new board members

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Apex Tool Group has appointed two new executives to its board of directors.

Thomas Wroe Jr., Sensata Technologies’ chairman of the board and former CEO, will serve as chairman and will also be a member of the board’s Compensation Committee. Terry Klebe, retired Cooper Industries vice chairman and CFO, will serve as Chair of the Audit Committee.

"We’re very fortunate to attract such strong operational and financial leaders as Apex Tool Group continues to leverage global growth opportunities in the power and hand tool industry," said Steve Breitzka, CEO of Apex Tool Group, who also serves on the board.  "I look forward to their invaluable contributions and guidance as we work to bring the business to a new level of performance, reputation and operational excellence." 

Wroe is chairman of the board and former CEO of Sensata Technologies, a global sensing and protection solutions industrial manufacturer. He had a 34-year career with Texas Instruments, holding a variety of management assignments in operations, engineering, marketing, and business development across all of the businesses in TI’s Materials & Controls Division, where he was named president in 1995, and subsequently appointed senior VP of Texas Instruments in 1998. He currently serves on the board of directors of GT Advanced Technologies and the Chase Corp., and is chairman of the board of directors for Cape Cod Healthcare.

Klebe is the former vice chairman and former senior VP and CFO of Cooper Industries, a multinational industrial manufacturer acquired by Eaton Corp. in 2012.  He was with Cooper industries for 16 years and retired in April 2011. Prior to that,  Klebe held senior executive management roles in information technology, operations and finance, and before that was a partner with Ernst & Young.  He currently serves on the board and Audit Committee of Fairchild Semiconductor International.

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Consumer confidence down slightly to 79.7 in September

BY HBSDEALER Staff

After making marginal progress in August, the Consumer Confidence Index dipped back down to 79.7 in September, according to The Conference Board.

Though September’s figures are down from August’s upwardly revised metric of 81.8, they still demonstrate substantial year-over-year growth compared with September 2012, when consumer confidence was at 68.4.

“Consumer confidence decreased in September as concerns about the short-term outlook for both jobs and earnings resurfaced, while expectations for future business conditions were little changed," said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators. "Consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions, however, was more positive. While overall economic conditions appear to have moderately improved, consumers are uncertain that the momentum can be sustained in the months ahead.”

The Present Situation Index experienced a boost to 73.2 from 70.9. Those who viewed business conditions as "good" increased to 19.5% from 18.7%, with a corresponding decrease in those viewing conditions as "bad." More people also deemed jobs "plentiful," but only by a margin of 0.2%. More significantly, those saying jobs are "hard to get" were at a five-year low of 32.7%.

Meanwhile, the Expectations Index fell to 84.1 from 89.0. More consumers (0.3%) expected business conditions to improve over the next six months, but the number of people expecting them to worsen was more or less unchanged at 11.0%. The decrease in expectations was largely a reflection of fewer respondents expecting an increase in jobs in income.

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