Hovnanian Enterprises Inc A Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
We design, construct, market, and sell single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and condominiums, urban infill, and active lifestyle homes in planned residential developments and are one of the nation’s largest builders of residential homes. Founded in 1959 by Kevork Hovnanian, Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our”) was incorporated in New Jersey in 1967 and reincorporated in Delaware in 1983. Since the incorporation of our predecessor company and including unconsolidated joint ventures, we have delivered in excess of 331,000 homes, including 6,149 homes in fiscal 2017. The Company has two distinct operations: homebuilding and financial services. Our homebuilding operations consist of six segments: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast, Southwest and West. Our financial services operations provide mortgage loans and title services to the customers of our homebuilding operations.
We are currently, excluding unconsolidated joint ventures, offering homes for sale in 130 communities in 24 markets in 14 states throughout the United States. We market and build homes for first-time buyers, first-time and second-time move-up buyers, luxury buyers, active lifestyle buyers and empty nesters. We offer a variety of home styles at base prices ranging from $135,000 to $2,675,000 with an average sales price, including options, of $418,000 nationwide in fiscal 2017.
Our operations span all significant aspects of the home-buying process – from design, construction, and sale, to mortgage origination and title services.
The following is a summary of our growth history:
1959 - Founded by Kevork Hovnanian as a New Jersey homebuilder.
1983 - Completed initial public offering.
1986 - Entered the North Carolina market through the investment in New Fortis Homes.
1992 - Entered the greater Washington, D.C. market.
1994 - Entered the Coastal Southern California market.
1998 - Expanded in the greater Washington, D.C. market through the acquisition of P.C. Homes.
1999 - Entered the Dallas, Texas market through our acquisition of Goodman Homes. Further diversified and strengthened our position as New Jersey’s largest homebuilder through the acquisition of Matzel & Mumford.
2001 - Continued expansion in the greater Washington D.C. and North Carolina markets through the acquisition of Washington Homes. This acquisition further strengthened our operations in each of these markets.
2002 - Entered the Central Valley market in Northern California and Inland Empire region of Southern California through the acquisition of Forecast Homes.
2003 - Expanded operations in Texas and entered the Houston market through the acquisition of Parkside Homes and Brighton Homes. Entered the greater Ohio market through our acquisition of Summit Homes and entered the greater metro Phoenix market through our acquisition of Great Western Homes.
2004 - Entered the greater Tampa, Florida market through the acquisition of Windward Homes and started operations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota market.
2005 - Entered the Orlando, Florida market through our acquisition of Cambridge Homes and entered the greater Chicago, Illinois market and expanded our position in Florida and Minnesota through the acquisition of the operations of Town & Country Homes, which occurred concurrently with our entering into a joint venture with affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors to own and develop Town & Country Homes’ existing residential communities. We also entered the Cleveland, Ohio market through the acquisition of Oster Homes.
2006 - Entered the coastal markets of South Carolina and Georgia through the acquisition of Craftbuilt Homes.
During fiscal 2016, we exited the Minneapolis, Minnesota and Raleigh, North Carolina markets and sold land portfolios in those markets. We are in the process of completing a wind down of our operations in the San Francisco Bay area in Northern California and in Tampa, Florida by building and delivering homes to sell through our existing land position.
Geographic Breakdown of Markets by Segment
The Company markets and builds homes that are constructed in 18 of the nation’s top 50 housing markets. We segregate our homebuilding operations geographically into the following six segments:
Northeast: New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Mid-Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia
Midwest: Illinois and Ohio
Southeast: Florida, Georgia and South Carolina
Southwest: Arizona and Texas
For financial information about our segments, see Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
We employed 1,905 full-time employees (whom we refer to as associates) as of October 31, 2017.
Corporate Offices and Available Information
Our corporate offices are currently located at 110 West Front Street, P.O. Box 500, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701 (See Item 2-Properties). Our telephone number is 732-747-7800, and our Internet web site address is www.khov.com. Information available on or through our web site is not a part of this Form 10-K. We make available through our web site our Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(d) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”), as soon as reasonably practicable after they are filed with, or furnished to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Copies of the Company’s Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to these reports are available free of charge upon request. Any materials we file with the SEC may be read and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, D.C., 20549. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site (http://www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.
Given the low levels of total U.S. housing starts, and our belief in the long-term recovery of the homebuilding market, we remain focused on identifying new land parcels, which are critical to improving our financial performance. During fiscal 2016, we had approximately $260 million of bonds mature, which we were unable to refinance because financing was unavailable in the capital and loan markets to companies with comparable credit ratings to ours. As a result, we shifted our focus from growth to gaining operating efficiencies and improving our bottom line, and in order to preserve and increase cash to fund our maturing debt, we decided to temporarily reduce the amount of cash we were spending on future land acquisitions and to exit from four underperforming markets during fiscal 2016. In addition, we increased our use of land banking and joint ventures in order to enhance our liquidity position. The net effect of these liquidity enhancing efforts was to temporarily reduce our ability to invest as aggressively in new land parcels as previously planned. This resulted in a reduction in our community count in fiscal 2016 and 2017, along with a decrease in net contracts during these periods, as compared to the prior year periods. As a result of our decreased community count, we had fewer deliveries, revenues and profit in 2017 as compared to the prior year.
In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 and in July 2017, we were able to refinance certain of our debt maturities including certain of our senior secured notes which were scheduled to mature in October 2018 and October and November 2020, with $440.0 million of new senior secured notes maturing in July 2022 and $400.0 million of new senior secured notes maturing in July 2024. While these transactions extended the maturities of a significant amount of debt giving us the ability to more fully invest in new communities again, they also resulted in a $42.3 million loss on early extinguishment of debt. When added to prior period results, this created a three-year cumulative loss, which led us to reconsider the realizability of our deferred tax assets in accordance with GAAP and record a $294.1 million non-cash increase in the valuation allowance for our deferred tax assets. See Note 11 to our Consolidated Financial Statements. We continue to see opportunities to purchase land at prices that make economic sense in light of our current sales prices and sales pace and plan to continue actively pursuing such land acquisitions.
In addition to our current focus on maintaining adequate liquidity and evaluating new investment opportunities, we intend to continue to focus on our historic key business strategies, as enumerated below. We believe that these strategies separate us from our competitors in the residential homebuilding industry and the adoption, implementation and adherence to these principles will continue to benefit our business.
Our goal is to become a significant builder in each of the selected markets in which we operate, which will enable us to achieve powers and economies of scale and differentiate ourselves from most of our competitors.
As noted above, we offer a broad product array to provide housing to a wide range of customers. Our customers consist of first-time buyers, first-time and second-time move-up buyers, luxury buyers, active lifestyle buyers and empty nesters. Our diverse product array includes single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and condominiums, urban infill and active lifestyle homes.
We are committed to customer satisfaction and quality in the homes that we build. We recognize that our future success rests in the ability to deliver quality homes to satisfied customers. We seek to expand our commitment to customer service through a variety of quality initiatives. In addition, our focus remains on attracting and developing quality associates. We use several leadership development and mentoring programs to identify key individuals and prepare them for positions of greater responsibility within our Company.
We focus on achieving high return on invested capital. Each new community is evaluated based on its ability to meet or exceed internal rate of return requirements. Our belief is that the best way to create lasting value for our shareholders is through a strong focus on return on invested capital.
We prefer to use a risk-averse land acquisition strategy. We attempt to acquire land with a minimum cash investment and negotiate takedown options, thereby limiting the financial exposure to the amounts invested in property and predevelopment costs. This approach significantly reduces our risk and generally allows us to obtain necessary development approvals before acquisition of the land.
We enter into homebuilding and land development joint ventures from time to time as a means of controlling lot positions, expanding our market opportunities, establishing strategic alliances, reducing our risk profile, leveraging our capital base and enhancing our returns on capital. Our homebuilding joint ventures are generally entered into with third-party investors to develop land and construct homes that are sold directly to home buyers. Our land development joint ventures include those with developers and other homebuilders, as well as financial investors to develop finished lots for sale to the joint venture’s members or other third parties.
We manage our financial services operations to better serve all of our home buyers. Our current mortgage financing and title service operations enhance our contact with customers and allow us to coordinate the home-buying experience from beginning to end.