Avatar Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ-AVTR), Coral Gables, Fla., on Tuesday after market close reported a net loss for 2009 of $28,983,000 (-$3.11 per share) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2009, compared to a loss of $109.9 million for 2008.

The company did not break out results from the fourth quarter in either its press release or a 10K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.The sole analyst who follows the company was expecting a loss of $3.92 per share.

The net loss included an income tax benefit of $32.9 million. On an pre-tax basis, the loss was $61,843,000, including $21.8 million in impairment charges, $4.7 million in losses on fourth-quarter land sales and a $35.3 million loss from operations.

The earnings report was light on detail. The company said it had revenues of $73,501,000, down from $110,366,000, in the prior year, as closings dropped 6.9% to 230 and dollar volume dropped 32.1% to $44.8 million.

New orders were up 27.6% to 199, with dollar volume down 7.5% to $34.2 million. The company did not report a cancellation rate.

The number of units in backlog was 25 at December 31, 2009, compared to 56 at December 31, 2008. The aggregate dollar volume of backlog at December 31,2009 was $5,469,000, compared to $16,079,000 at December 31, 2008.

Avatar at December 31, 2009 had $217.1 million in cash at yearend, up from$175.4 million at the close of the prior year. Total debt as of December 31,2009 was $119 million, down from $131,061,000 a year earlier.

The company disclosed in its 10K that it had cut headcount by 60% to 233 full-time employees since yearend, 2005. In the management discussion section of the 10K, the company stated, "Our home building results reflect the difficult conditions in our Florida and Arizona markets chacterized by record levels of homes available for sale and diminished buyer confidence...Our communities continue to experience low traffic, significant discounts, low margins, and continued seasonality of home sales...Our profits on the sale of homes continue to decline as we offer lower prices and higher discounts to meet competitive price and declining demand...During 2009, most of our sales contracts have been signed at selling prices that have resulted or will result in losses upon closing when factoring in operating costs such as sales and marketing and divisional overhead."

It continued, "We anticipate we will continue to generate operating losses during 2010. We believe we have sufficient available cash to fund these losses for 2010."