Homebuilder Beazer Homes posts loss in fiscal third quarter; new orders drop 33 percent

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beazer Homes posts loss for Q3

ATLANTA — Beazer Homes USA Inc. posted a loss in its fiscal third quarter, as Americans rushed to buy homes as federal tax credits expired in April but held back in later months.

The company said Thursday it lost $27.8 million, or 41 cents per share in the three months ended June 30. That compares with a loss of $28 million, or 72 cents a share, in the prior-year period.

The period included several one-time items, including a $5.1 million inventory impairment charge, a $12.5 million impairment charge related to two joint ventures, a $9 million loss on debt extinguishment and a $28.4 million benefit from income taxes.

The number of shares outstanding rose 76 percent during the quarter to 68.3 million from 38.8 million in the prior year.

New orders fell 33 percent to 1,037 homes, “substantially impacted” by federal tax credits expiring in April, the company said.

CEO Ian J. McCarthy said traffic and new home orders were well above year-earlier results through the expiration of the tax credit April 30. But he said, “In May and June, traffic and new home orders were substantially below the levels experienced in the prior year.”

Revenue rose 52 percent to $339.9 million from $224.1 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of 29 cents a share on revenue of about $325.1 million. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Beazer’s cancellation rate rose to 28.9 percent from 23 percent in the prior year. the average home selling price fell 12 percent to $206,200 from $235,100 last year, as home sales shifted to areas with lower home prices and to a higher number of first-time buyers.

Sales of new U.S. homes jumped industrywide in June, but it was the second-weakest month on record. High unemployment, slow job growth and tight credit, meanwhile, continue to keep many people from buying homes.

The tax incentives not only helped motivate buyers to enter the market, but added deadline pressure to make a deal. Buyers had to purchase their home by April 30 and complete the transaction by the end of June. Lawmakers since extended the deadline to complete purchases to Sept. 30.

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