From today's Toll Brothers, Inc.'s Fiscal 3rd Quarter 08 Outlook Conference Call with CEO Robert Toll:
"Third quarter building revenues were approximately $796.5 million. Backlog was approximately $1.75 billion, and net signed contracts were about $469.7 million. These totals represent declines of 34%, 52%, and 35% respectively in dollars, and 31%, 48%, and 27% respectively in units, compared to fiscal year ‘07’s third quarter".
. . .
"Okay. The trend during the quarter is we got a little bit better but we’re talking on a microscopic basis, using percentages. We went from like a 95 to 100, to give you an idea of how we got a little bit better during the quarter.
With respect to traffic, it’s still dismal. Traffic is -- it’s consistent, however. It has not gotten any worse for the last three quarters, so we feel as though we’ve stabilized but I don’t want to give you the indication that that makes us feel good. It’s as though we walked into the tar pits, sunk up to our nose, our feet are touching a ledge and we are not going down any further but that sure doesn’t make us feel that comfortable.
With respect to promotions impacting the trend in the quarter, I would say not as we’ve been running promotions for the last three quarters. I feel like as I watched the Olympics last night and heard some of the ads by the car manufacturers that we may be finally cycling into their kind of marketing. You know, this week get this Toyota, this Chevy for $199 a month, good until September 2nd. And then September 3rd, there will be another special. The only difference is our specials aren’t just by advertising, by putting the word out. Ours are accompanied by phone-athons where we have all of our sales people, together with our project managers, our vice presidents, our senior vice presidents, working the phones, calling people because now you have an excuse. You have this two-week period or one-week period only, a sub-zero refrigerator, and it gives us a reason to call and spook up the traffic.
But we are heartened that at least we are able to spook up the traffic. That indicates that there are buyers out there waiting to be nudged. It will take a general turn in confidence for the big nudge to occur but sooner or later, it will occur".