Homebuilder Beazer Homes (BZH) reported income of $44.5m, or $1.09 per share, in its fiscal year first quarter that ended on December 31, 2009. It’s the second consecutive profitable quarter for the Atlanta-based builder. In its fiscal year Q409 that ended Sept. 30, Beazer reported a $35.3m profit. In the year-ago quarter, Beazer reported a loss of $79.2m. Beazer’s profitability is due in large part to a $101m tax refund from a temporary change to tax laws that allow businesses an extended period to claim refunds from profitable years to cover current losses. Fiscal year Q110 revenue was $218.8m, up slightly from $218.2m in the year-ago quarter. Home closings were up 8% from a year ago to 961 homes, while new orders totaled 728 homes, a year-over-year increase of 36.6%. The cancellation rate also improved to 26.9%, compared to 46.1% in last year’s FYQ1. “During our first fiscal quarter, we were encouraged by the improvement in our new home sales,” said Beazer president CEO Ian McCarthy. “While it is premature to signal the beginning of a sustainable recovery in the housing market, we are seeing indications that historically high levels of home affordability, home price stability, low mortgage interest rates and home buyer tax credits may be beginning to balance out prospective home buyers’ concerns about falling home prices, foreclosures, and risk of job loss in most of our markets,” he added. Beazer’s total cash and equivalents was $480.5m as of Dec. 31 and stockholder equity was $247.3m. The builder had a current inventory of 960 homes valued at $232.3m, compared to 961 homes valued at $226.5m. As HousingWire previously reported, on January 12, 2010, Beazer closed its public offerings of 22,425,000 shares of its common stock and $57.5m of mandatory convertible notes. The company expects net proceeds from the transactions with be $24m. “We are also pleased with the progress we made in improving our balance sheet, both during and after the end of the quarter. The increase in equity and reduction in debt better position us to fully participate in the eventual housing recovery,” McCarthy said. Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.

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