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HOVNANIAN SLASHES LOSS, BUT STILL AILS

HovHovnanian's headquarters on West Front Street.

Red Bank-based Hovnanian Enterprises sharply cut its net loss in the quarter ended April 30, compared to year-prior levels.

But the publicly traded homebuilder continued to slash prices in the face of contract cancellations and write-downs on the value of real estate in its inventory.

From an Associated Press report:

Hovnanian slashed prices during its second quarter. Its average
sales price on new-home contracts declined about 7 percent from a year
ago, to $279,448.

The discounts forced the builder to absorb
$318.9 million in pretax charges to reflect the falling value of land
and other assets, eating away at its bottom line.

For the
quarter, the company lost $118.6 million, or $1.50 a share. That
compares with a loss of $340.7 million, or $5.29 a share, a year
earlier.

Revenue in the period, which ended April 30 and was the
second quarter of Hovnanian’s fiscal year, fell by 49 percent, to $398
million.

Reuters reports that the smaller loss was due chiefly to a gain on the early extinguishment of debt and a tax benefit.

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