MIDDLETOWN, NJ-The dry summer may have parched lawns throughout the Garden State, but it certainly didn’t hurt the fiscal 3Q results for Hovnanian Enterprise, the state’s largest homebuilder, based here. Indeed, the company delivered some 2,647 residential units in the quarter ended July 31, its best quarter ever. The company also has a backlog of more than 4,400 homes with a total value of $1.2 billion.

As a result, according to its 3Q report, Hovnanian’s net for the period rose by a whopping 86%. For the quarter, the company earned $39.2 million, or $1.20 per share, up from last year’s $21 million and 71 cents a share. Those results came even after a noncash charge of $7.6 million, taken because the company decided to change providers for its companywide software. Revenue rose by 38% to more than $704.6 million, compared to $509.3 million.

The results also led Hovnanian officials to raise their projections for fiscal 2002 as a whole by as much as 30%. Earlier earnings forecasts in a range of $3.75 to $3.90 per share have been lifted to between $4.50 and $4.75 per share.

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