HOV SALES TAKE HUGE SLIDE

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Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises, based in Red Bank,posted its eighth consecutive quarter in the red, reporting a net loss of $202.5 million for the fiscal quarter ended July 31.

The loss equated to $2.67 per share, compared with a loss $1.27 per share, or a total $80.5 million, in the year-ago third quarter. Analysts had predicted a loss of $1.68 per share, Reuters reported.

Revenue plummeted by 37 percent, to $716.5 million, from $1.1 billion in the comparable 2007 period, as Hovnanian, the nation’s sixth-largest homebuilder, has tracked the industry trend of losses in the worst real esate market in decades. Thirty-two percent of the company’s contracted buyes canceled their deals in the quarter.

Wall Street analysts had, on average, estimated the company would report $700.4 million in revenue, the company said.

Hov has scheduled its quarterly conference call for investors at 11a today.

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