KB Home rounds out rough fourth quarter, year

National home builder KB Home saw a net loss of $772.7 million in the fourth fiscal quarter, a deeper loss than the $49.6 million recorded in the same period last year.

Net revenue for the quarter was $2.07 billion, down 31 percent from $3.01 billion in the same period last year.

This decline reflected a 22 percent year-over-year decrease in new home deliveries to 8,132 in the fourth quarter from 10,386 in the 2006 fourth quarter, and a 12 percent year-over-year decrease in the average selling price to $247,800 in 2007 from $280,000 in 2006. During the quarter, the company took charges of $917.6 million for write-downs and tax expenses.

For the full year, the company saw a net loss of $929.4 million, swinging from net earnings of $482.4 million last year. Net revenue for the year was $6.4 billion, down 46.5 percent from $9.38 billion in 2006.

"The challenging market conditions we experienced through the first three quarters of 2007 continued during the fourth quarter," said Jeffrey Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home.

Mezger listed several factors detrimental to KB Home’s business throughout 2007, including an oversupply of new and resale homes, increased foreclosure activity, heightened competition for home sales, reduced home affordability, turmoil in the mortgage and credit markets and decreased consumer confidence in purchasing homes.