D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) late Tuesday reported that it expects to post a loss of between $800 million and $900 million for its fiscal fourth quarter ended September 30, even after an anticipated tax benefit of some $350 million in factored in. Horton will report earnings before market open on Nov. 25.

The anticipated loss is the result of a 50% drop in home sales revenue to $1.5 billion for the company's fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30 as homes closed fell from 11,733 in last year's fourth quarter to 6,961 this year. It also will be driven by impairments of approximately $1.1 billion and an $80 million good-will write-down.

Net orders for the quarter totaled 3,977 homes with a value of $852.3 million, down from 6,374 homes with a value of $1.3 billion for the same quarter of fiscal 2007. The cancellation rate (cancelled sales orders dividedby gross sales orders) for the quarter was 47%.

Sales backlog of homes under contract at September 30, 2008 was 5,297 homes with a value of $1.2 billion, compared to 10,442 homeswith a value of $2.7 billion at September 30, 2007.

During the quarter, the company took in roughly $200 million from the sale of approximately 32,000 lots, 55% undeveloped, 20% partiallydeveloped and 25% fully developed. The company ownedapproximately 99,000 lots at September 30, 2008.

Horton had $1.4 billion in home building cash at quarter's end, an increase of more than $500 million during the quarter, and the company said it expects to receive a federal income tax refund in the range of $600 million to $625 million in December 2008. At quarter's end, the company had no cash borrowings outstanding on its revolving credit facility and was in compliance with all of its covenants.

Regarding its credit position, the company stated in its preliminary release that "as a result of inventory reductions achieved during thequarter, the Company's borrowing base availability under the facilityis expected to be less than $100 million. However, the Companycurrently does not anticipate a need to borrow from the facility. TheCompany is exploring alternatives with regard to its credit facility,which could potentially include an amendment to the current agreement."

In the fourth quarter, Horton repurchased $1.4 million principal amount of its 9.75% senior subordinated notes due 2010 and a total of $35.3 millionprincipal amount of its 8% senior notes due 2009.

Said Donald R. Horton, chairman, "Market conditionsin the home building industry deteriorated during our fourth fiscalquarter and October, characterized by rising foreclosures, highinventory levels of both new and existing homes and reduced liquidityin the mortgage markets. In addition, consumer confidence has beeneroded by a weakening economy, higher unemployment and recordvolatility in the capital markets."

Horton said the company expects to generate positive operating cash flow in addition to the cash provided by our expected tax refund in fiscal 2009.