Homebuilder D.R. Horton posts narrower loss in 4th-qtr, but
revenue and orders slide
D.R. Horton Inc. said Friday its loss narrowed in its fiscal fourth
quarter as the homebuilder took fewer writedowns on the value of
But revenue slid 9 percent as the company sold fewer homes in the
quarter, and new orders dropped 21 percent.
Horton said the housing market became even more challenging after a
tax credit expired in April. Absent the government incentives --
and despite mortgage rates remaining at near-historic lows -- many
homebuyers are opting to stay on the sidelines, put off by high
unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty about home prices.
The expiration of the tax credit has weighed heavily on Horton, as
first-time homebuyers account for more than half of its
Home sales were the worst in decades this summer. In the midst of
that decline in demand, large homebuilders have reported sharp
annual declines in new home orders for the July-September
Horton's new orders in the fourth quarter totaled 3,979 homes, for
a total value of $817.5 million, down from 5,008 homes, valued at
$1.0 billion, a year earlier.
Among other homebuilders, PulteGroup Inc. recently reported its new
home orders slid 12 percent from a year ago and roughly 15 percent
since the second quarter. Builder Meritage Homes Corp. said orders
were down 36 percent from a year ago, while Ryland Group Inc.
reported orders were down 37 percent.
D.R. Horton said it lost $8.9 million, or 3 cents per share, in the
three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with a loss of $234.9
million, or 74 cents a share, in the prior-year period.
The results included $30.8 million in charges for inventory
impairments and land option cost write-offs. The year-earlier
results included $192.6 million in similar charges.
Revenue dropped to $925.7 million from $1.01 billion.
Thomson Reuters says analysts were expecting a loss of 4 cents a
share on revenue of $854 million.
The Fort Worth, Texas, company's summer cancellation rate was 31
For the full fiscal year, the company's results were boosted by the
first-time homebuyer credit. It earned $245.1 million, or 77 cents
per share, compared with a loss of $549.8 million, or $1.73 per
share, in fiscal 2009.
Revenue jumped 20 percent to $4.31 billion.