Beazer Homes 3Q loss doubles, as closings fall 49%
Homebuilder Beazer Homes (BZH) saw its loss deepen to $59.1 million, or 80 cents per share, for its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, as the number of homes closed fell 49%. Analysts were expecting the Atlanta-based company to report a loss of about 42 cents a share for its third quarter. The company reported a loss of $27.8 million, or 41 cents a share, a year earlier. Beazer Homes booked 1,215 new home orders during the quarter, 4% higher than the prior three months and up 24% from 982 a year earlier. Total home closings fell to 791 homes, a 40% drop from the second quarter and 49% lower than 1,558 in the year-ago fiscal third quarter. Third-quarter revenue declined to $172.8 million from $321.8 million last year when the first-time homebuyer tax credit was still in effect. Beazer has begun focusing on renters who want to move into fairly new homes, but lack credit or the desire to buy a home. The company introduced its pre-owned home division earlier this year. "Our sales team was able to overcome significant headwinds in both the economy and the housing market to record substantially improved orders," President and CEO Allan Merrill said. "Our emphasis on promoting the low cost of ownership of a new Beazer Home compared with both existing homes and other new homes was an important contributor to this effort." Merrill took over for Ian McCarthy during the quarter after McCarthy was fired in June. In March, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled with McCarthy over charges he received incentive-based compensation when the company's accounting officials were misleading investors about the firm's true income. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.