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Citigroup Report Names Meritage Homes Inc. as Homebuilder with Highest Gulf Exposure

by Houston Agent

By Tom Butala

As the deluge of ‘tar-balls’ from BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill have made their way to the shores of Texas, the extent of environmental and economic degradation to come as a result is greatly anticipated by residents and businesses of the gulf region.

According to a report issued Tuesday by Citigroup analysts, Houston-based homebuilder Meritage Homes Inc. has been named as the developer with the highest volume of cumulative active-selling properties concentrated in the Gulf Coast.  When considering proximity to the gulf, Citigroup looked at communities within a 50-mile radius.

The report cites Meritage as holding 22 percent of their cumulative active selling properties within this radius, with 32 of their 147 communities in the Houston area.

Although builders like DR Horton (DHI) and the Lennar Corp (LEN) maintain more communities in the region, DHI with 136 and LEN with 60, these figures only account for 17 percent (DHI) and 15 percent (LEN) of their developments nationwide.

“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,” Citigroup CFA Josh Levin writes in the report. “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.”

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