Pulte reports $55 million loss

Pulte Group, one of the nation’s largest home builders, reported a net loss of $55 million for its second fiscal quarter, which ended on June 30. This compares with a net income of $76 million in the same quarter a year ago. 

Pulte’s second-quarter results included $41 million of land, mortgage, organizational restructuring and debt repurchase charges. Prior-year results included $48 million of the same costs, offset by a net benefit from income taxes of $82 million.

Revenue from home sales in the second quarter decreased 29% from the prior year to $900 million. Lower revenue for the period was driven by a 28% decrease in closings, combined with a 1% decrease in average selling price to $248,000. Prior-year results benefited from increased demand stimulated by a first-time homebuyer tax credit, which expired April 30, 2010.

Net new-home orders for the second quarter were 4,222, which was consistent with the prior year and down 3% compared with the first quarter of 2011. Pulte’s quarter-end backlog was up 2% to 5,777 homes with a value of $1.6 billion, compared with a prior-year backlog of 5,644 homes with a value of $1.6 billion.

"The 2011 U.S. housing market continues to operate within the range of expectations we projected at the beginning of the year," said Richard Dugas Jr., Pulte’s chairman, president and CEO. "It is a positive sign that buyer demand appears to have stabilized following expiration of the home buyer tax credit last spring, but residential construction volumes are at historically low levels, and market conditions remain highly competitive. In this operating environment, we are focused on reducing our construction and overhead costs and enhancing our product offerings.”