KB Home 3Q loss widens on fewer deliveries
KB Home (KBH) said its third-quarter loss widened as the company delivered fewer homes and continued to struggle with a still dormant housing market. Los Angeles-based KB Home reported a loss of $9.6 million, or 13 cents per share, for its fiscal quarter ended Aug. 31. That compares to a loss of $1.4 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. The third-quarter loss includes $1.2 million in charges for inventory impairments and land option contract abandonments, down from $3.4 million of similar charges a year ago. Revenue for the quarter fell 27% to $367.3 million from $501 million, as housing revenue declined. KB Home delivered 1,603 homes in the second quarter, down 31% from a year earlier. Poor results were partly offset by a 6% increase in the average selling price to $227,400. National homebuilders are struggling with a challenging economic climate marked by high unemployment, financial and political uncertainty and recalcitrant homebuyers. Even record low mortgage rates haven't helped. A glut of foreclosed homes, which generally sell at steep discounts, have also hurt the new home market. "We achieved encouraging operational and financial results in the third quarter despite the ongoing difficult housing environment," said Jeffrey Mezger, KB Home president and CEO. "We generated year-over-year growth in both net orders and backlog in all four of our operating regions. Net orders increased 40% in the third quarter to 1,838 from 1,314 a year earlier. At Aug. 31, KB Home had a backlog of 2,657 homes, representing projected future housing revenue of about $559.3 million. That compares to a backlog of 2,169 homes at Aug. 31, 2010, representing projected housing revenues of $455.3 million. The company's homebuilding business posted operating income of $1.4 million, following losses the prior two quarters, yet income was still down from $8.4 million in the year-ago period. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.