http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/19677713-toll-brothers-inc-tol-q4-2010.aspx

Toll Brothers Inc TOL
Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 12/02/2010

Operator: Good afternoon. My name is Jackie, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Toll Brothers' Year End 2010 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. Thank you.

Mr. Yearley, you may begin your conference.

Douglas C. Yearley, Jr. - CEO: Thanks Jackie. Welcome and thank you for joining us. I am Doug Yearley, CEO. With me today are Bob Toll, Executive Chairman; Marty Connor, Chief Financial Officer; Fred Cooper, Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations; Joe Sicree, Chief Accounting Officer; Kira formerly McCarron now Sterling, Chief Marketing Officer, congratulations Kira; Mike Snyder, Chief Planning Officer; Don Salmon, President of TBI Mortgage Company; and Greg Ziegler, Vice President of Finance.

Before I begin, I ask you to read the statement on forward-looking information in today's release and on our website. I caution you that many statements on this call are based on assumptions about the economy, world events, housing and financial markets, and many other factors beyond our control that could significantly affect future results.

Those listening on the web can email questions to rtoll@tollbrothersinc.com. At the suggestion of several of you, we are going to reduce our prepared remarks to provide more time for color on our results and for Q&A. Since our detailed release has been out since early this morning and is posted on our website, I'm sure you have all read it. So, I won't reread it for you.

The key to sustained and substantial profitability is the return of normalized demand. The persistent drag of high unemployment reduced home equity, weak consumer confidence, and frustration with the nation's economic and political climate has outweighed the appeal of historic low interest rates and tremendous home affordability. Even though the unemployment rate among our buyers is about half that of the national average, many of our clients remain on the sidelines waiting for clear signs that the economy is on the road to recovery.

In this environment, fiscal year 2010 was another challenging year for our Company and our industry. Nevertheless, we had solid improvement over last year. Even with our business in Q4 of 76% from the 2005 peak we are proving we can operate efficiently at or near breakeven. Pre-tax and the pre-writedowns we were basically breakeven for fiscal year '10, and pre-tax and pre-writedowns we were profitable for the second consecutive quarter in our Q4 2010.

For the fourth quarter our contracts were down 27% both dollars and units versus last year, and roughly 17% on a per community basis. For the full year, they were up 13% on a gross basis in dollars and 6% in units.

Our year-end backlog was basically flat to last year. Impairments for the year declined from $477 million in fiscal year '09 to $115 million in fiscal year '10. Our balance sheet remains very strong with a net debt to cap of 13.6% and cash of over $1.2 billion.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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