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Beazer Homes Q1 Loss Narrows, Cuts Jobs

Monday, 09 Feb 2009 08:08 AM

ATLANTA – Beazer Homes USA Inc. said Monday its fiscal first-quarter loss narrowed even as revenue plunged due to a significant falloff in home closings and new orders as the homebuilder offered fewer sales incentives than it had a year earlier.

Beazer also cut another 300 jobs after the end of the quarter, extending its 32 percent cut in the work force in 2008 and the 70 percent reduction it has imposed since 2006.

Chief Executive Ian J. McCarthy said the housing industry "continues to face the most difficult business conditions in many decades."

"Against this backdrop, we continue to adapt to the reality of lower home closing volumes by further reducing our cost structure. Combined with our disciplined focus on generating and maintaining liquidity, we believe these actions will help us weather this unprecedented housing environment," McCarthy said in a news release.

The company lost $80.3 million, or $2.08 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of $138.2 million, or $3.59 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue plunged by more than half to $232.4 million from $500.7 million a year earlier.

The latest quarter includes pretax charges of $30.1 million on inventory impairments, abandoned land option contracts and goodwill.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected the homebuilder to lose $1.83 per share on revenue of $273.1 million.

The Atlanta-based homebuilder said quarterly closings fell 53 percent to 938 homes, and new orders slid 57 percent to 545 homes. Its unfilled orders stood at 965 homes with a value of $227.2 million as of Dec. 31.

The cancellation rate for the first quarter was 45.6 percent, compared to 46.6 percent in the year-ago period. The company also closed the quarter with $436.9 million in cash, down from $584.3 million at the end of the fourth quarter on Sept. 30.

Consumer confidence and tight credit markets have hurt home sales nationally, though Beazer is trying to help itself by streamlining the number of floor plans it offers and increasing the amount of environmentally friendly amenities it offers.

Because of the economic turmoil, Beazer did not try to generate sales by offering more sales incentives and price cuts in its fiscal first quarter. However, the company said it may resume offering sales incentives or price reductions moving forward.

Beazer Homes USA Inc. is one of the country's largest homebuilders with operations in 17 states.

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ATLANTA – Beazer Homes USA Inc. said Monday its fiscal first-quarter loss narrowed even as revenue plunged due to a significant falloff in home closings and new orders as the homebuilder offered fewer sales incentives than it had a year earlier.Beazer also cut another 300...
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2009-08-09
Monday, 09 Feb 2009 08:08 AM
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