A tax return from profits earned during the housing bubble put KB Home (KBH) in positive net profit territory in its fiscal year Q409 that ended Nov. 30. Excluding a $191.7m tax refund, KB Home would have lost $91m in the quarter, but instead posted a $100.7m, or $1.31 per share, net profit. With or without the tax refund, the quarter’s results are better than the $307.3m loss in Q408. As HousingWire reported in November, the homebuilding industry stands to benefit tremendously from a change to the net operating loss carryback law that extended the time companies could receive tax refunds from profitable years after experiencing losses in another year. Instead of reclaiming tax profits from two years back, the temporary change allowed companies to claim credits from as far as five years back. Other builders also reported benefitting from the change in the tax law. However, the builder experienced a 27% decrease in revenue, $674.6m in Q409 compared to $919m in the same period one year ago. The builder said lower housing revenues were only partially offset by higher land sales revenue. KB delivered 22% fewer homes year-over-year, and average selling price declined 12%. However, new orders were up 12% year-over-year and the cancellation rate was 31%, better than the 46% during the same time in 2008. “KB Home's 2009 fiscal year culminated with a solid fourth quarter performance,” said president and CEO Jeffrey Mezger. “We view the growth in our fourth quarter net orders as evidence that we are continuing to attract and meet the demands of today's homebuyers, particularly those in our core first-time buyer segment.” The Los Angeles-based builder experienced a net loss of $101.8m, or $1.33 per diluted share, for the fiscal year ending Nov. 30. A year ago, KB Home posted a net loss of $976.1m, or $12.59 per share. The company delivered 8,488 homes average price of $207,100, compared to 12,438 homes delivered at an average price of $236,400 in the prior fiscal year. At the end of its fiscal year, KB Home had a standing inventory of 2,126 homes, representing potential future housing revenues of approximately $422.5m. “Looking forward into 2010, there are indications that housing market conditions may be stabilizing in some regions, reflecting, among other things, relatively high levels of affordability,” Mezger said. “This is tempered, however, and could ultimately be undermined, by persistent economic weakness and unemployment, changes in federal government monetary and fiscal policies and programs, and by the impact of rising foreclosures and mortgage loan delinquencies.” Write to Austin Kilgore. The author held no relevant investments.