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Zee Dog Ate My Closings

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Any truth RYL is offering tanning beds as an option?

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Last night Ryland Homes (RYL) lowered Q1 guidance blaming the weather for delaying 225 closings in SoCal, MD, NV, and AZ. Over the last six months, the weather has been the primary villain for all the glitches in the homebuilders' financial reports.

In the spirit of healthy skepticism, I decided to peruse the weather data for this past January and February available on the NOAA website. What it shows is that SoCal is the only region that suffered significant rain. I can attest first hand that but for a handful of snowy days, the weather in MD so far this winter has been seasonally chilly, but otherwise just fine; and as for AZ and NV, AZ was a bit wet, but average temperatures were otherwise pretty darn noice. Perhaps the few remaining construction workers not toiling to crush Mr. Toll's shorts are now negotiating "perfect weather" as a labor condition.


Also, how does the weather exactly impact a closing? If the homes were supposed to close this quarter, isn't it reasonable to assume that by January at the latest most of the outdoor work would have already been finished? Does Ryland need sunny days to put down carpeting and paint rooms? And if the weather is pushing out the closings, why wouldn't these closings definitely take place in Q2, as opposed to "the latter quarters of 2005"? Inquiring minds do want to know.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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