Centex loses nearly $1B in third quarter

Jan 30, 2008

The nation's fourth largest builder, Centex Corp., saw sharply declining fortunes in the final months of 2007, as a tighter mortgage market affected home prices.

The Dallas builder reported a loss of $975 million in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, a loss of $7.94 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $228 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, in the previous year.

Analysts expected on average a loss of 78 center per share for the third quarter. For the fourth quarter, they expect a loss of 59 cents per share, a total loss for the year, on average, of $7.68.

Third quarter revenues for the company were $1.9 billion, down 30 percent from the same quarter last year.

The company attributed the losses to a 20 percent decrease in closings, and an 11 percent decrease in average sales prices. Centex (NYSE: CTX) officials said the company would focus on reducing unsold inventory. Centex also plans to move toward a "transparent pricing" structure which eliminates discounts and incentives.

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