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Beazer Homes Posts Quarterly Loss After Charges

Beazer Homes USA, facing a deteriorating U.S. housing market and federal investigations into lending practices, posted a quarterly loss on Thursday as the builder took charges for inventory and goodwill impairments and abandonment of land option contracts.

For the third quarter ended June 30, Beazer posted a net loss of $123.0 million, or $3.20 per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $102.6 million, or $2.37 per share.

The company said the latest quarter's results included charges of $188.5 million. A substantial portion of the charges relate to the write-down of the value of operations in Northern California, Nevada and Florida, where housing demand has seen a steep decline as lending requirements tighten and the number of homes on the market have soared.

Revenue fell 37% to $761.0 million, as the number of homes sold during the quarter fell 36% to 2,666 homes.

Would-be home buyers canceled their orders at the rate of 36%, higher than the 29% in the prior quarter.

New orders for homes fell 30% in the quarter to 3,055.

"Most housing markets across the country continue to be characterized by an oversupply of both new and resale home inventory, reduced levels of consumer demand for new homes and aggressive price competition among home builders,"

Chief Executive Officer Ian McCarthy said in a statement.

"These factors, together with a pronounced credit tightening in the mortgage markets, particularly for credit-challenged home buyers, are likely to lead to continued difficult market conditions for Beazer Homes and other home builders," he said.

Beazer also said it has entered into a new, four-year $500 million revolving credit facility, replacing its existing $1 billion credit facility, which was scheduled to mature in August 2009. The new facility can be expanded to $1 billion, under certain conditions.

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