Brookfield Homes (NYSE:BHS) late Friday reported a loss of $24 million ($0.91 per diluted share) for the fourth quarter of 2007 as revenues dropped 40% to $197 million, new orders fell 50% to 104 and closings were off 40.1% to 272.
Brookfield said it took $61 million in impairments and other charges in the quarter. It generated $86 million in cash during the quarter as it converted 40.1% of its backlog to sales. Backlog at yearend was 155 homes.
The company managed to eke out a profit of $16 million for fiscal 2007, however, thanks to a reversal of $51 million of income tax liabilities related to previously uncertain tax positions. For the year, Brookfield took impairments and other writedowns of $103 million, including $74 million related to 1,896 lots located mainly in the Inland Empire of California and the Washington D.C. Area, as well as write-offs of $29 million related to 4,031 unentitled lots under option.
For the year, Brookfield took 735 orders, down 23.4%, closed 839 homes, down 30%, and saw its average selling price fall from $679,000 to $662,000. Gross margins on housing fell to 17% in 2007 from 26% in 2006.
In its earnings release, the company explained that it continues to option and entitle land. "The company has continued its longer term strategic focus on optioning land projects and taking them through the entitlement process," said the release. "Specifically in 2007, the company created value by entitling 1,945 lots. In addition, the company acquired 732 lots and the control of approximately 2,000 lots from joint venture partners. Each of these acquisitions has a future strategic importance for the company."
At yearend, Brookfield said, it owned or controlled a total of 25,371 lots. The company said its goal for 2008 was to generate $100 million in operating cash flow as it continues to monetize its inventory of 3,400 fully developed lots and entitle or advance the entitlement of lots.