KB Home reports smaller losses

March 30, 2009 04:24 PM

KB Home, one of the country’s largest homebuilders, reported smaller losses in the first quarter of this year than last year as housing orders increased.

The Los Angeles-based company posted a net loss of $58.1 million for the first quarter of 2009, up from a loss of $268.2 million during the same period of last year, according to a report released by the company Friday. The company’s net orders for new homes rose 26 percent to 1,827 from 1,449 in the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, the percentage of cancellations dropped to 28 percent of gross orders from 53 percent in the first quarter of 2008.

At the same time, the company had a smaller backlog of homes this quarter than last year. KB had a backlog of 2,651 homes worth some $559.8 million as of late February 2009, compared to 4,843 homes at the same time last year.

But things are still rocky for the company. The company’s total revenues in the first quarter of 2009 dropped 61 percent to $307.4 million from $794.2 million in the prior-year-quarter, due largely to a continued drop in home prices across the country. KB delivered 1,445 homes at an average price of $210,700 in the first quarter of 2009, compared to 2,928 homes at an average price of $248,200 last year.

In the report, the company said it had worked to cut costs, reduce debt and streamline its organizational structure, ending the quarter with $1.13 billion in cash and liquidity.

KB, known for built-to-order homes, was founded in 1957 and has erected homes in 14 states, including Florida. TRD