Pulte reports a heavy loss in the first quarter

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Pulte Homes reported a net loss of $696.1 million for the first quarter, wider losses than the $85.7 million recorded in last year’s first quarter.

The first-quarter loss included $663.6 million of pre-tax charges related to inventory impairments and other land-related charges.

Total revenues, including home-building and finacial services revenues, fell 23 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.9 billion in the prior year’s quarter.

“The difficult housing environment continued to erode during the first quarter of 2008,” explained Richard Dugas Jr., president and CEO of Pulte Homes. “Buyer demand for new homes continues to be soft, home prices remain under pressure and overall buyer confidence is weak. Despite these market challenges, Pulte continues to make progress on its cash position, selling homes and reducing its cost structure.”

There were 5,402 net new home orders, valued at $1.5 billion, down 36 percent and 50 percent, respectively, from the prior year’s first-quarter results.

Pulte Homes operates in 51 markets and 26 states.

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