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KB Home Swings to Loss as Housing Sales Decline

Home builder KB Home posted a quarterly loss on Friday with impairment and abandonment charges as the U.S. housing market continued its steep decline, and said it did not expect conditions to improve in the near term.

KB Homes
Matt York
KB Homes

The No. 5 U.S. home builder reported a net loss of $268.2 million, or $3.47 per share, for its fiscal first quarter, ended Feb. 29, compared with a year-earlier profit of $27.6 million, or 34 cents per share.

Excluding a tax-related charge, KB lost a preliminary $2.17 per share, according to Reuters Estimates. It wasn't immediately clear if that was directly comparable to the $1.35 per share loss expected by analysts.

Revenue fell 43 percent to $794.2 million, reflecting both a smaller number of homes and lower prices, KB said. The company delivered 2,928 homes during the quarter at an average price of $248,200.

Analysts had expected $854.9 million in sales for the quarter.

Net orders plunged 75 percent, partly reflecting a smaller number of the company's active selling communities. Its cancellation rate of 53 percent was down from 58 percent in the prior quarter.

"Until prices stabilize and consumer confidence returns, we believe inventory levels will remain significantly out of balance with demand," CEO Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement.

"We do not anticipate meaningful improvement in these conditions in the near term," he added.

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