Los Angeles Business Journal

KB Home’s Loss Widens, But Orders Increase

By Deborah Crowe Friday, September 23, 2011

KB Home saw a larger loss in its fiscal third quarter, but its stock rose slightly Friday morning after the homebuilder also reported more orders.

The Los Angeles company reported a net loss of $9.6 million (-13 cents per share) for the quarter ended Aug. 31, compared with a loss of $1.4 million (-2 cents) in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 27 percent to $367 million, but the company benefited from a 23 percent drop in administrative expenses as the company cut overhead and other costs. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected a per-share loss of 19 cents on $381 million in revenue.

KB Home in the year-earlier period benefited from a federal homebuyer tax credit that encouraged more people to buy homes. The company delivered only 1,603 homes in this year’s quarter, compared to 2,320 in the same quarter last year.

In a sign for a slight recovery down the road, net orders rose 40 percent to 1,838, with gains in each of its four geographic regions and a 73 percent jump on the West Coast. The company is considered the nation’s fifth largest homebuilder.

“We achieved encouraging operational and financial results in the third quarter despite the ongoing difficult housing environment,” Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said in a statement.

Shares were up 19 cents, or 3 percent, to $5.91 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.