Ryland profits down slightly in first quarter

April 29, 1994|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Sun Staff Writer

First-quarter profits at the Ryland Group Inc. fell slightly, the Columbia-based homebuilder announced yesterday, but the core homebuilding operation narrowed its first-quarter loss of a year ago, and operating earnings jumped 27 percent.

Ryland said it earned $6.2 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $6.6 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Discounting nonrecurring gains for both quarters, earnings in the latest quarter were $4.2 million, or 23 cents a share, compared with $3.3 million, or 17 cents a share.

The performance was in line with Wall Street estimates, and Ryland stock closed up 25 cents a share yesterday, at $20.

Ryland Chief Executive Officer R. Chad Dreier said the company is comfortable with analysts' expectations that it will earn about $1.93 a share for the full year. "We feel pretty good about it," he said.

Ryland, the nation's third-biggest homebuilder, said its homebuilding business lost $623,000 during the quarter, compared with $4.8 million in the first quarter of 1993. Mr. Dreier estimated that the cold weather cost the company "at least a hundred sales" during the latest quarter, and spokeswoman Anne Madison said many closings on homes already sold were delayed because weather slowed down construction.

The company reported much stronger home sales in the western United States, but sales were flat in the East. The first quarter is typically a slow one for homebuilders.

Ryland's first-quarter earnings came principally from its mortgage business, which made $12 million before taxes in the quarter.

The company also announced that it is phasing out its international operations, which had been set up during the tenure of former Chief Executive Officer Roger Schipke to sell houses in countries such as Israel, Russia, Senegal and Turkey.

Ryland Group Inc. .. .. .. ..Ticker.. .. .. .. .. .. Yesterday's

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Symbol.. .. .. .. .. .. Cls... Chg.

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..RYL.. .. .. .. .. .. .. 20 .. .. + 1/4

Period ended 3/31/94 .. .. 1st qtr... .. .. .. Year ago .. Chg.

Revenue. .. .. .. .. .. .. $332,492.. .. .. . $295,552. .+12.5%

Net Income. .. .. .. .. .. $6,231* .. .. .. . $6,533**. ..-4.6%

Primary EPS .. .. .. .. .. $0.36*. .. .. .. . $0.38**.. ..-5.3%

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

* Includes gain of $2.08 million, or 13 cents a share, for accounting change

** Includes gain of $5.3 million, or 21 cents a share, from sale of interest in real estate investment trust

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