NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - D.R. Horton Inc, the biggest U.S. homebuilder, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, but orders fell as demand remained soft following the expiration of the federal government's homebuyer tax credit. The company said on Friday that its loss had narrowed to $8.9 million, or 3 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended on Sept. 30 from $234.9 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 4 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Homebuilding revenue slid to $925.7 million from $1 billion, and orders fell 20.5 percent to 3,979 homes. "As we expected, market conditions in the homebuilding industry have been even more challenging after the expiration of the tax credit at the end of April," said Chairman Donald Horton. (Reporting by Helen Chernikoff; Editing by Derek Caney and Lisa Von Ahn) Keywords: DRHORTON/ (Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org; e-mail: email@example.com; Tel: +1-646-223-6127) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.
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