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Robert Trigaux

Analyst report targets home builders with concentrated housing risks near gulf oil spill

Beazerhomeswhisperdunespanamacity  Wake up and good morning. Here it comes. Wall Street analysts are starting to dissect the gulf coast economy and identify those businesses that are at greater risk to exposure to the BP oil spill. This Citigroup analyst planted his bulls-eye on home builders, ranking builders' riskiness based on their relative concentration of each company’s actively-selling communities within 50 miles of affected gulf areas. 

For our purposes, we'll look at those home builders that operate in Florida who have the highest risk to the gulf spill. They are, says Citigroup analyst Josh Levin, Beazer Homes (photos above and below, Beazer's Whisper Dunes community location near gulf and Panama City on Florida Panhandle), D.R. Horton, Lennar, Ryland, KB Home and M/I Homes. Some are at risk because they have a lot of communities along the Florida gulf coast, including the Tampa Bay area. Others are at risk because they have some Florida gulf communities but also communities in other states along the affected gulf coast.

To be clear, the Citigroup analyst defined the gulf coast as the area stretching from Houston to Sarasota, which obviously takes in the Tampa Bay area. Here's the Citigroup report.

So what does analyst Levin conclude in all this number crunching? Not much, though to be fair his lack of conclusions are typical so far of analysts and economists trying to figure out the ultimate impact of a gulf spill that has yet to be stopped on slices of the Florida and gulf coast economies.

Says Levin: "Since it is not yet known what impact the oil spill will have on the various gulf coast economies over the intermediate and longer term, we find it difficult to draw actionable investment conclusions from our analysis. However, investors who have high conviction what those consequences will be may be able to use our analysis to help reach investment conclusions regarding individual homebuilder stocks."

Here's the pecking order of those Florida home builders cited in the report, from higher to lower risk, based on the percentage of overall communities exposed to the gulf spill:

        Whisperdunessignbeazerhomespanamacity   * Beazer Homes: Seven exposed communities in Florida but plenty in Texas. Total exposure: 19 percent.

        * D.R. Horton: 37 exposed communities in Florida (27 in greater Tampa Bay) but plenty in other gulf states. Total exposure: 17 percent.

        * Lennar: 19 exposed communities in Florida (15 in greater Tampa Bay) but plenty in other gulf states. Total exposure: 15 percent.

        * Ryland: Six exposed communities in Florida (all in greater Tampa Bay) but plenty in Texas. Total exposure: 13 percent.

        * KB Home: Six exposed communities in Florida (all in greater Tampa bay) but plenty in Texas. Total exposure: 11 percent.

        * M/I Homes: 12 exposed communities in Florida (all in greater Tampa Bay) only. Total exposure: 9 percent.

Here's another take on this report from a Wall Street Journal blog.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:00am]


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