Shares of Beazer Homes USA (NYSE:BZH) were hammered Wednesday and hit further Thursday in the wake of a credit ratings downgrade by Standard & Poor's late Tuesday.

Beazer stock, trading on heavy volume both days, closed down 17% at $1.96 Wednesday and lost another 10.2% to $1.76 Thursday.

S&P after market close Tuesday put out a ratings downgrade on Beazer, citing its weak balance sheet and continuing problems with loan covenants.

"Sizable net losses have eroded Atlanta-based homebuilder Beazer Homes USA Inc.'s equity base and tangible net worth, while leverage has risen steadily and covenant pressures have increased," S&P said. It lowered its corporate credit rating on Beazer further into junk, to 'CCC' from 'CCC+,' and took its issue-level rating on the company's notes to 'CCC-' from 'CCC'.

S&P also said it believes "Beazer's sales and profitability will remain weak through the balance of 2009."