updated 5/26/2005 8:20:25 AM ET 2005-05-26T12:20:25

Toll Brothers Inc., a leading builder of luxury homes in the U.S., said Thursday its second-quarter earnings rose sharply and raised its forecast for the year.

Income more than doubled to $170.1 million, or $2.01 per share, from $72.4 million, or 89 cents per share, a year ago. The year-ago quarter included a charge of 6 cents per share related to early retirement of debt.

Revenue increased 52 percent to $1.25 billion from $819.5 million.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting a profit of $1.79 per share on revenue of $1.26 billion.

The company signed contracts for 3,181 homes worth $2.2 billion in the quarter, up from 2,595 homes worth $1.6 billion a year earlier. Toll Brothers ended the quarter with a backlog of 8,561 homes worth $5.87 billion, the highest in the company’s history, compared with backlog of 6,211 homes worth $3.73 billion at the end of the 2004 period.

Toll Brothers said it now expects income for fiscal 2005 to grow by 70 percent, up from a previous forecast for 60 percent growth. The new forecast suggests income of $695.5 million for the year. For the year ended Oct. 31, 2004, Toll Brothers earned $409.1 million, or $5.04 per share, on revenue of $3.89 billion.

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