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10 PHBCA Companies Named to Barron's 500; Homebuilders Among Top Companies for Investor Performance in a Tough Economy and Stock Market, Barron's Finds.

NEW YORK -- Ten of the Public Home Builders Council of America's 14 members were named to the prestigious Barron's 500. This unique stock ranking, as described by the magazine, grades the biggest U.S. and Canadian companies by sales and is based, in part, on how well they have performed in terms of cash flow return on investment, or CFROI, a proprietary metric of CSFB Holt. (For more on the Barron's 500 methodology, see description below.)

As testament to the strength of the housing industry, Barron's declared that "health-care companies and homebuilders have fared best in a tough economy and stock market." This acknowledgment falls on the heels of a series of accolades including a strong showing of PHBCA members on both the Fortune 500 list, which named 11 members, and on the Forbes Platinum 400 list, which named 12 members.

"The nation's large, public homebuilders have emerged as some of the best managed companies in America," said James Zeumer, president of the PHBCA. "Over the past decade, the large public builders have diversified geographically, expanded market share and improved their operating performance which is enabling them to deliver outstanding financial results in a highly competitive industry."

The 10 PHBCA companies named to the Barron's 500 list were Beazer Homes USA (NYSE: BZH), Centex Corporation (NYSE: CTX), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV), KB Home (NYSE: KBH), Lennar Corporation (NYSE: LEN), MDC Holdings (NYSE: MDC), Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM), Ryland Group (NYSE: RYL), and Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE: TOL).

Barron's 500 methodology

The 2005 ranking looks at a universe of the biggest 500 U.S. firms by sales. (Canadian firms are included, too.) The calculations were made by CSFB HOLT, a unit of Credit Suisse Group that consults for institutional investors and corporate managements. Central to the ranking was HOLT's proprietary metric: cash flow return on investment. CFROI measures the real cash returns on the capital invested in a company, stripped of inflation effects and accounting practices, which could distort conventional earnings.

CFSB HOLT uses four criteria: stock-market performance relative to the S&P 500 for the 12 months ended April 30, and the median CFROI for the latest three fiscal years prior to 2004, to determine the historical returns they were generating. Then, the 2004 CFROI growth is compared to that median, and the revenue change in 2004 from 2003 is also factored in. CSFB Holt made one small modification this year, replacing the current year's forecasted CFROI growth with actual numbers from last year, to remove the volatility inherent in using forecasted CFROIs. (For financial firms, real return on equity substituted for CFROI, owing to the different nature of their assets.) Those measures are evaluated and then combined into a grade-point average, with 4.0 being the equivalent of straight A's.

The Public Home Builders Council of America (PHBCA) is a non-profit organization devoted to raising awareness and recognition for the expanding role that the public builders play as stable and growing providers of housing for millions of Americans. PHBCA consists of 14 of the leading public homebuilding companies within the broad $250 billion housing industry. PHBCA member companies are Beazer Homes USA, Centex Corporation, D.R. Horton, Hovnanian Enterprises, KB Home, Lennar Corporation, MDC Holdings, Meritage Homes Corporation, Pulte Homes, Ryland Group, Standard Pacific Homes, Technical Olympic USA, Toll Brothers, Inc. and WCI Communities. These companies build a wide array of single family and multi-family units that range from affordable homes for first-time homebuyers, to first and second time move-up homes, to luxury condominium towers to vacation homes for the active adult community. Operating in 37 states, the 14 PHBCA companies delivered over 270,000 new homes in 2004, or more than 22% of all new homes sold in the U.S. that year. In the top 25 housing markets, PHBCA members collectively held, on average, almost 30% market share in 2004. With more than 75,000 employees nationwide, PHBCA member companies had combined annual revenues of over $77 billion in their fiscal 2004 periods. For more information on the PHBCA, visit www.phbca.org.

The views expressed in the foregoing are those of the Public Home Builders Council of America (the "PHBCA") and are not attributable to the individual company members of the PHBCA. The statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that represent the PHBCA's current expectations and assumptions based upon data currently available to and reviewed by the PHBCA. Should the data available to the PHBCA change or the PHBCA's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results or developments may vary materially from those expected by the PHBCA. The PHBCA disclaims any obligation to update or revise the statements made in this release.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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