Home builder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., Red Bank, N.J., has gotten a "very strong" reception to its $600 million Friday bond sale and its $130 million May 8 stock offering by posting, not gains, but lower-than-industry-average declines, says Gimme Credit analyst Vicki Bryan.

"Hovnanian appears to be pulling ahead of the pack while many of its peers are succumbing to one of the worst housing recessions ever recorded," she wrote in a Friday report to clients.