The Ryland Group, Calabasas, Calif. (NYSE:RYL) after market close Wednesday reported a net loss of $21.8 million (-$0.49 per diluted share), compared to a consolidated net loss of $73.7 million (-$1.70 per diluted share) for the same period in 2009. The loss included impairments and write-offs of $8.6 million, down sharply from $47.3 million for the same period last year. The company also took at pretax charge of $19.1 million related to debt repurchases during the quarter.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 25 cents per share. Ryland shares, which closed down 5.3% at $16.34, lost another 0.7% to $16.22 in after-market trading shortly before 5 p.m.

Home building revenues were up 38.5% from last year's quarter to $362.3 million on a 37.9% jump in closings to 1,505 units. The average closing price declined by 0.8% to $238,000 from $240,000 for the same period in 2009.

New orders fell 44.2% from last year's quarter to 958 units and new-order dollars declined 43% to $230.8 million. The monthly sales absorption rate was 1.8 homes per community in the quarter, down from 2.5 homes per community for the same period in 2009.

Backlog at the end of the quarter was down 44.9% to 1,368 units, with the dollar value down 43.6% to $342.7 million.

Housing gross profit margins averaged 15.9%, excluding write downs, up from 13.9% at the end of the previous quarter and 7.8% for the quarter ended June 30, 2009. Including inventory and other valuation adjustments, housing gross profit margins averaged 14.4%.

Sales incentives and price concessions averaged 11% for the quarter, down from 18% a year earlier.SG&A came in at $37.7 million, about flat with last year's quarter but representing 10.4% of home building revenues, down from 14.4% a year earlier.

The financial services segment reported a pretax loss of $634,000, compared to pretax earnings of $1.1 million for the same period in 2009, due primarily to a reduction in the number of customer loans-in-process with locked interest rates at the end of the period, partially offset by a 30.1% increase in mortgage originations.

During the quarter, Ryland repurchased $274.6 million of its senior notes due 2012, 2013 and 2015 for $292.3 million in cash, taking a pretax charge of $19.1 million. The company issued $300.0 million of 6.6% senior notes due May 2020 to fund the repurchase.

Ryland ended the quarter with $877.7 million in cash, restricted cash and marketable securities, up from $814.9 million at the end of last year.Ryland was carrying $873.9 million in debt at quarter's end, up from $856.2 million at June 30, 2009.

Company executives provided no comment on the earnings report. It also did not report a cancellation rate or its land and lot holdings.