Rank:40 There's just no getting around the fact that 2006 was a horrendous year for WCI Communities. With the bulk of its business concentrated in the extremely soft Florida market, the Bonita Springs, Fla.–based builder reported a 95 percent drop in profits over the previous year. Cancellations and defaults resulted in negative net sales in the fourth quarter.
“When America wakes up from this slump and this fear of buying homes, I think we'll see Florida return to one of the top home building markets in the country, as it has been historically,” CEO Jerry Starkey told industry analysts in its fourth-quarter earnings call.
While the year was tough on several fronts, it wasn't without its highlights. Key accomplishments for 2006 included a major initiative to reduce construction costs. A top goal for 2007 is the completion of eight high-rise towers and the subsequent collection of $1 billion from purchasers at closing.
WCI recently retained Goldman Sachs as an advisor to assess its strategic options, including a sale to another company. The first prospective buyer already has appeared. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn made a $955.9 million offer in mid-March that called for the ouster of Starkey and the entire board.