Brookfield Homes Corp., Fairfax, Va. (NYSE:BHS) on Wednesday before market open reported a $16.7 million loss (-$0.81 per share) for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31. The loss including impairments and write-offs of $6.3 million and compares with a loss of $79.3 million on $19.3 million in impairments and write-offs for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008.

For the full year, Brookfield booked a loss of $32.5 million including unconsolidated subsidiaries (-$27.9 million directly attributable to Brookfield operations), including $37 million (-$23.96 million for Brookfield operations) in impairments and write-offs. The company lost$150.9 million on $153 million in impairments and charges in 2008, including unconsolidated entities.

The loss was in part attributable to the company's efforts to draw down debt. At yearend, debt to total capitalization was 42%, a significant improvement from 71% for the year ended in 2008 as total financings declined from $748.6 million in 2008 to $381.6 million in 2009.

Total revenue for the quarter was down 3.3% to $145 million; housing revenue increased to $134 million from $127 million in the prior year quarter. For the year, total revenue was down 16.2% to $376 million, with housing revenue falling to $340 million from $415 million. Land sales to other builders generated $36 million for the year.

Home closings for the quarter were up 16.5% to 230 but were down for the full year from 750 in 2008 to 703 in 2009. The average selling price of homes closed fell 9.3% to $505,000.

Net new orders jumped 32% for the quarter to 129, and were up to 756 for the year from 729 in 2008. The cancellation rate for the quarter was flat with the previous quarter at 19%. The community count at yearend was 25, down from 30 at the end of 2008.

Backlog at yearend was 187 homes, up from 134 at the end of 2008.

At yearend, the company owned or controlled 24,245 lots, 11,001 owned directly, 1,746 owned through unconsolidated entities, 3,232 optioned directly and 8,266 optioned through unconsolidated entities. The lots are concentrated in San Diego/Riverside (37%), Northern California (29%), Southland/Los Angeles (13%) and Washington D.C. (20%). The lot count was roughly flat with 2008 but reflected a decrease of 2,578 lots from Sept. 30, 2009, primarily a result of the disposal of lots in San Diego/Riverside and the entitlement of 1,061 lots through the year.

SG&A was $15.6 million for the quarter, down from $21.9 million the year before.

The company listed $61.7 million in receivables and other assets, $7.5 million in restricted cash and $40.1 million in deferred tax assets on its balance sheet at yearend.

In its earnings release, the company stated, "Brookfield Homes¹ outlook for 2010, while cautiously optimistic heading into the traditional spring selling season, is tempered for the second half of the year by the impact of continued economic weakness, high unemployment, foreclosures and shadow inventory. The housing market has relied on federal government stimulus to bridge between weak economic fundamentals until the return of job growth and consumer confidence."

It continued, "Strategically, this presents opportunities to capitalize on mispriced longer-term replacement assets as in general the industry continues to focus its lot acquisition efforts on short-term finished lot positions to meet near-term closings. Looking longer-term as housing production continues to be depressed historically and relative to demographic fundamentals, an under supply of housing units is being created.In particular, California should be one of the first areas of the country to experience a recovery in housing due to the speed at which the distressed inventory is being absorbed and the fact that there is very little supply in the development pipeline."

Shares of lightly traded Brookfield were down 2.5% at $7.15 in early trading on the NYSE.

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