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KB Home 2Q Loss Widens As Deliveries, Orders Slide

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Builder KB Home (KBH) recorded a wider-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss as new home deliveries and orders tumbled. Shares were recently off 4% to $11.44 in premarket trading. As of Tuesday's close, the stock is down 12% year to date. "Uncertainty and caution about the economy are keeping many qualified homebuyers from entering the market, even though historically high housing affordability makes this a good time to buy," Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said. "We believe the current housing market conditions will likely continue until there are meaningful and sustained improvements in job growth and consumer confidence." The homebuilder has struggled in recent quarters as orders have plunged and charges have weighed on its bottom line. Like other homebuilders, KB Home has faced tough year-over-year comparisons due to the effect on year-ago results of a federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The battered housing market has been among the most troublesome features of the U.S. economic recovery. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau reported builders are now on track to sell 319,000 new homes in 2011, far from the 1 million-plus pace seen ahead of the housing bust. For the quarter ended May 31, KB reported a loss of $68.5 million, or 89 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $30.7 million, or 40 cents a share. The results included a charge of $25.7 million related to a valuation allowance, compared with a similar charge of $12.8 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 27% to $271.7 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently forecast a loss of 31 cents on revenue of $257 million. Orders fell 11% to 1,998 homes. New home deliveries slid 29% to 1,265 homes. The company's backlog, an indication of future business, fell 24%, while the cancellation rate edged up to 25%. Earlier this month, KB Home reported it would pay between $216 million and $240 million to settle legal actions related to Inspirada, a failed land deal outside Las Vegas. -By Mia Lamar, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3207; mia.lamar@dowjones.com

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