Toll Brothers posts $93.7 million loss

Toll Brothers, one of the country’s largest home builders, announced steep losses in the second quarter, further illustrating the trouble facing builders in the United States. The builder recorded losses of $93.7 million compared with net earnings of $36.7 million in the same period last year.

The company took pre-tax charges of $288.1 million, including write-downs of $85 million from joint venture costs.

Revenues dropped 30 percent to $818.8 million from $1.2 billion in the year-ago period. Revenues actually were slightly higher than analysts’ estimates of $808.9 million.

"Demand continues to be weak in most markets as our clients worry about selling their existing homes or entering the market before prices stabilize," the company said, adding a familiar plea to legislators to pay mind to the housing crisis, "We believe Congress should jump-start demand for new homes with an initiative that will bring buyers off the sidelines and into the market, and thereby stop the downward spiral of home prices.”

Toll Brothers said that a broad stabilization of home prices was a necessity in order for any Congressional mortgage aid to be effective.

Other large home builders also are suffering -- last month, D.R. Horton, another of the country’s largest home builders, recorded $1.31 billion in losses.

D.R. Horton reported the record loss following writedowns of $834.1 million of land and inventory. Revenue fell 38 percent to $1.62 billion.