Toll Brothers ends year with rocky fourth quarter

National home builder Toll Brothers recorded fourth quarter losses of $81.8 million, a hit that included $314.9 million in pre-tax write-downs mainly due to land options and real estate losses. That compares with income of $173.8 million in last year’s fourth quarter.

Total revenues in the fourth quarter were $1.17 billion, down 35.3 percent compared with $1.81 billion last year.

For the full year, Toll Brothers saw earnings of $35.7 million, a substantial drop from the $687.2 million recorded last year. Revenues for the year were $4.65 billion compared with $6.12 billion last year, a 24 percent drop.

Robert Toll, chairman and CEO of Toll Brothers, reiterated what many home builders have been saying for the past six months:

“Weak consumer confidence continues to buck (home buying) positives,” he said. “Broader concerns about the nation’s economy have magnified worries about potential price declines in the housing market.”

“It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when, this oversupply is absorbed,” he added. “Then we [willl] return to better times.”

Toll Brothers builds homes in 22 states.