Pulte will take big charges in second quarter

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based home builder Pulte Homes said it will take charges of between $740 million and $770 million in the second quarter relating to land options contracts.

The company recorded net new orders of 7,532 homes, down 20 percent from last year’s second quarter. Home closings, at 5,938 homes, were down 40 percent.

"The difficult conditions that plagued the homebuilding industry in the first quarter of 2007 worsened in the second quarter, with increased competitive pricing pressures, elevated levels of new and resale home inventory and weak consumer sentiment for housing affecting the entire industry," explained Richard Dugas, president and CEO of Pulte Homes.

The company will take an additional charge of $40 million for restructuring costs. The costs were due to efforts that included eliminating about 1,900 jobs – 16 percent of the company’s workforce.

Pulte builds homes in 27 states.