HovHovnanian’s headquarters on West Front Street.

Red Bank-based homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises closed out its fiscal year October 31 on a larger-than-expected net loss, according to a news report.

The company’s fourth quarter produced an after-tax net loss of  $132.1 million, or $1.68 per common share, compared with a net loss of $250.8 million, or $3.21 per share, in the comparable 2009 quarter.

The New York Times, citing Thomson Reuters, said analysts had been expecting a loss of 66 cents a share.

From the earnings announcement issued by the company after the close of stock markets Tuesday:

“In spite of strong long-term demographics, the current housing market remains quite challenging. The combination of a lackluster job market and high foreclosure activity is clearly having a dampening effect on the housing market. The only silver lining is that we continue to find land acquisition opportunities which we believe will yield appropriate returns at today’s home prices and sales paces,” commented Ara K. Hovnanian, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Even without a general housing recovery, we are optimistic that as the percentage of deliveries from newly identified communities increases, our overall performance should continue to improve.”