Toll Bros. Revenue Sinks 51%, Confident on Liquidity

Home builder Toll Brothers reported a sharp drop in first-quarter revenue Wednesday, but said it had enough liquidity to get it through the current turmoil in the industry.

The company reported revenue of $409.3 million for the first three months of the year, down 51 percent from the year-ago period.

It reported net contracts worth about $128 million, down 66 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

There were 157 cancellations for the quarter and a backlog of about $1 billion.

"We ended FY 2009's first quarter with approximately $2.85 billion of liquidity from cash and availability under our bank credit facility," Joel H. Rassman, chief financial officer, said in a press release. "In addition, we have no public debt maturities until 2011. We believe this liquidity should enable us to take advantage of opportunities we expect will arise from the industry's current turmoil."

"The past five months have been among the most difficult in U.S. economic history," CEO Robert I. Toll said in a release. "Many potential buyers are now concerned about their job security and the economy's financial stability, in addition to their ability to sell their current homes."

"If the President and Congress, in effect, take action to 'call the bottom' on home prices by approving a significant program to spur demand, home prices might stabilize," Robert Toll added. "This could also stem foreclosures, reduce inventories, and shore up existing difficult-to-value mortgage-backed securities so they can be traded."

Toll Brothers shares were lower by 6.3 percent on Tuesday.