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Toll Brothers posts narrower loss

Builders work on a home renovation in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles on May 20, 2009. Federal Reserve bank policymakers are seeing "tentative evidence" the US economy is emerging from recession and could show modest growth in the second half of 2009. Consumer purchases also appeared to have stabilized after falling in the second half of 2008, and the steep decline in the housing sector seemed to be abating. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)


Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. posted a narrower quarterly net loss on Wednesday and said it would not provide an earnings outlook due to market uncertainty.

The net loss narrowed to $83.2-million (U.S.), or 52 cents a share, in the second quarter ended on April 30 from $93.7-million, or 59 cents a share, a year earlier.

The latest results included pretax writedowns of $119.6-million. Excluding that, Toll posted a loss of 3 cents a share.

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Revenue fell 51 per cent to $398.3-million, while order backlog decreased 55 per cent to $944.3-million. Net signed contracts dropped 40 per cent $298.3-million.

"Although cancellations appear to be leveling off, we believe that concerns about job security and the economy continue to inhibit traffic and the conversion of deposits to contracts," chief executive Robert Toll said in a statement.

For the full year, Toll expects to deliver 2,200 to 2,800 homes, at an average delivered price of about $590,000 and $620,000 each.

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