D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI), Ft. Worth, Tex., late Monday reported a net loss of $108.6 million (-$0.34 per share) for its fiscal second quarter ended March 31. The loss was in line with some Wall Street estimates but missed the consensus by three cents a share.

The loss, which was a marked improvement from the $1.3 billion loss the company posted in its second fiscal quarter of last year, included $48.1 million in impairments and write-downs.

Horton took the unusual step Monday morning of moving its reporting date to Monday at market close from its previously scheduled time of Thursday before market open. One analyst, Stephen East of Pali Capital, put out a research note speculating that the schedule change signaled an impending debt offering that the company wanted to announce before Pulte Homes and Centex Corp. announce their quarterly earnings Tuesday after market close.

The was no mention of a debt offering in the earnings release, but the company announced that it was terminating its revolver because it does not need it and that it had retired more than $500 million in senior and other notes, the bulk of them due in January and February of this year but a good chunk on notes of future vintage.

Operationally, Horton reported a 51.5% drop to $775.3 million in home building revenue for quarter as homes closed totaled 3,585, down 49.6% from 6,719 homes in the year-ago quarter.

Net sales orders for the second quarter were down as well, by 44.7%, to 4,160 homes worth an aggregate $844.5 million, down from a value of $1.7 billion for orders during the same quarter of fiscal 2008. The cancellation rate was 30%.

Backlog of homes under contract at March 31 was 4,581 homes worth $963.0 million compared to 8,947 homes with an aggregate value of $2.1 billion at March 31, 2008.

Donald R. Horton, chairman, said, "We saw a seasonal increase in sales activity in the March quarter, with our net sales increasing 50% from our December quarter. However, market conditions in the home building industry are still challenging, characterized by rising foreclosures, high inventory levels of both new and existing homes, increasing unemployment, tight credit for homebuyers and eroding consumer confidence."

Horton had a cash balance of $1.5 billion as of March 31. It said it was in compliance with all covenants under its home building revolver and had $275 million available under its borrowing base. "With its substantial cash balance and expected future cash position, the company does not anticipate a need to borrow from the facility for the remainder of its term ending in December 2011," the company stated. "Therefore, the company has chosen to terminate the facility." The move is expected to save $3 million per year.

During the second quarter, the Horton repaid the outstanding principal of $460 million of its 5% and 8% senior notes, which became due on January 15, 2009 and February 1, 2009, respectively. Also during the quarter, it repurchased $77.8 million principal amount of its outstanding notes with maturities beyond 2009 for a total purchase price of $75.3 million, plus accrued interest. Subsequent to March 31st, it repurchased a total of $25.2 million principal amount of its outstanding notes for a total purchase price of $23.7 million, plus accrued interest.