Centex Corporation (NYSE: CTX) late Tuesday reported a net loss of $150.1 million for its first fiscal quarter of 2009, including $80 million in write downs and a $49 million FAS 109 charge to deferred tax assets.
The loss of $1.36 per share was wider than the $1.10 loss expected by analysts. Centex shares were up marginally to $13.96 in after-hours trading after the earnings release.
Revenues were off 41% to $1.13 billion on a drop of 35% in closings to3,939 homes and a 10% decrease in average sales price to $262,044, compared to the prior year's quarter. Orders decreased 35% to 4,215, down 23% on a per neighborhood basis. Homes in backlog decreased 27% to 8,022 and backlog value dropped 36% to $2.05 billion.
"The housing market worsened in the June quarter, and I don't expect to see it improve this fiscal year," said Tim Eller, chairman and CEO. "We ended the quarter with $1.24 billion in cash, improved our gross margins sequentially and continued to reduce overhead expenses. I am confident that we will continue to lower our costs and improve our balance sheet through positive home building operating cash flow generation over the remainder of this fiscal year."
Home building reported an operating loss of $131 million for the quarter versus a loss of $172 million in last year's first quarter, including the $80 million of impairments and write offs. Housing operating losses (housing revenues less housing cost of sales and SG&A) were $44 million, up from a loss of $5 million in the previous year. The company attributed the increase in loss to a 470 basis-point reduction in housing gross margin as well as a 42% decrease in housing revenues. The reduction in gross margin was primarily a result of a 170 basis-point increase in discounts and sales incentives to 10.5% of revenues and higher financing and closing costs.
Financial Services reported operating earnings of $6 million, down from $15 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 due to lower origination volumes.
"Restoring profitability remains a top company priority," Eller said. "While corporate G&A was higher this quarter, I am pleased that when combined with homebuilding SG&A, the total was down 35% from last year's first quarter as we continue to adjust overhead spending to the new revenue realities."
Centex said it generated positive cash flow from homebuilding operations and ended the quarter with a cash balance of $1.24 billion.