Beazer Homes 2nd-Quarter Loss Narrows as Closings, Margins Rise
By Ben Fox Rubin
Beazer Homes USA Inc.'s (BZH) fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed as the homebuilder's revenue jumped and it continued to see improvements in home closings, backlogs and margins.
The company has continued to report a string of losses in recent quarters as it has worked to recover from previous corporate missteps, including a federal probe into lending practices and a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over accounting issues that helped force out longtime Chief Executive Ian McCarthy in 2011.
But sales and orders have picked up as consumers take advantage of the record-low interest rates that have made buying a home cheaper than renting in many markets, and Beazer has improved its revenue lately on higher selling prices and increased closings.
For the quarter ended March 31, Beazer posted a loss of $19.6 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $39.9 million, or $2.54 a share. Revenue was up 50% to $287.9 million.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a loss of 75 cents a share on $252 million in revenue.
Total home closings were up 34% at 1,127 homes. The builder's cancellation rate fell to 18.7% from 22.5%. Homebuilding gross margin, excluding impairments and abandonments, rose to 19.1% from 17.5%.
New orders rose 0.6% to 1,521 homes. Total backlog units rose to 2,211 homes with a sales value of $584.2 million, compared with 1,975 homes with a sales value of $465 million a year earlier.
Shares closed Wednesday at $16.79 and were unchanged premarket. The stock is down 0.6% so far this year.
Write to Ben Fox Rubin at email@example.com
Order free Annual Report for Beazer Homes USA, Inc.
or call +44 (0)208 391 6028
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 02, 2013 06:58 ET (10:58 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.- - 06 58 AM EDT 05-02-13
Source: DJ Broad Tape