Standard Pacific Corp., Irvine, Calif. (NYSE:SPF) after market close Thursday reported a net loss of $23.8 million (-$0.10 per diluted share) for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of $369.9 million (-$2.54 per diluted share) for the year earlier period. The loss included impairment charges of $7.8 million, $10.1 million in charges related to early retirement of debt and other write-offs and a $9.3 million charge to deferred tax assets. Analysts were expecting a loss of seven cents a share.

Home building revenues decreased 18% to $327.4 million as deliveries fell 25% to 893 homes and average home price slipped 9% to $302,000, compared to the same quarter last year. The average price was flat with this year's second quarter. The decreases were offset in part by a $52.1 million increase in land sale revenues in the 2009 third quarter. The Company's average home price was flat with the 2009 second quarter at $302,000 and was slightly positive on a same-community basis.

Net new orders (excluding joint ventures and discontinued operations) fell 3% from the 2008 third quarter to 893. Community count was down from the same time last year by 28% to 134. The cancellation rate was 15%, down from 16% for the 2009 second quarter and 26% for the 2008 third quarter. Monthly sales absorption rate was 2.2 per community, up from the prior year third-quarter rate of 1.7 per community, but down from 2.7 per community for the 2009 second quarter.

Backlog (excluding joint ventures) decreased 20.2% to 995 homes with dollar value off 17% to $329.7 million.

Home building gross margin (including land sales) for the quarter was 13.0% compared to a negative 51.9% in the prior year period. SG&A (including corporate G&A) decreased $33.2 million, or 43%, from the year earlier period, resulting in an SG&A rate of 13.3% versus 19.2% in the prior year period.

Standard Pacific ended the quarter with $806.8 million in cash, including$283.3 million of restricted cash, $257.6 million of which was held in escrow related to the issuance of $280 million of 10 3/4% senior notes due 2016. On October 9, the company completed a refinancing transaction using$257.6 million of the net proceeds and cash on hand to repurchase approximately $133.4 million, $122.0 million and $3.4 million of senior notes due 2010, 2011 and 2013, respectively. The Company also exchanged$32.8 million of its 2012 senior subordinated convertible notes during the quarter for approximately 7.6 million shares of common stock at an effective price of $4.30 per share. Finally, the Company repaid the remaining $37.1 million balance on its Term Loan A credit facility, the $22.9 million balance on its revolving credit facility, $51.3 million of other indebtedness and assumed $52.1 million of joint venture recourse debt during the quarter. In aggregate, the transactions cut debt maturing before 2013 from $528 million to $180 million.

"With over $500 million of cash in the bank, anticipated near-term positive cash flows from operations and the significant reduction in the amount of our debt that is scheduled to mature in the next three years, we believe we have ample liquidity to acquire land assets to support our growth when the upturn in the housing market occurs," said Ken Campbell, Standard Pacific president and CEO.

Shares of Standard Pacific, which closed up 5.2% at $3.19 prior to the earnings release, were up another 3.1% to $3.29 in after-market trading.