Home contracts jump 27% at Hovnanian
Residential builder Hovnanian narrowed its losses during the first fiscal quarter to $18.3 million, compared to a loss of $64.1 million during the same quarter a year ago. Revenue for the Red Bank, N.J.-based company grew by 6.7% during the quarter , which ended Jan. 31, to $269.6 million.
"The spring selling season is off to a good start," said company CEO Ara Hovnanian in a prepared statement. "We are hopeful that these positive trends continue."
Net contracts increased 27% to 1,079 homes from 850 homes last year.
The cancellation rate declined one point, from 22% to 21%. The contract backlog rose 28% to 1,730 homes with a value of $578.4 million..
Deliveries were reported at 1,012 homes, up 13% from 892 homes a year earlier.
Hovnanian, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, has operations in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.
‘All-American Muslim’ canceled
The TLC network program that caused a national controversy and a public relations nightmare for Lowe’s will not be coming back for a second season, according to an article in the Detroit Free Press.
“All-American Muslim,” a TV reality show that followed the daily lives of five Dearborn, Mich. Arab-American Muslim families, was canceled because of low ratings, according to the network.
The show initially came under fire from an evangelical Christian group, the Florida Family Association, which protested against its benign portrayal of Muslims. Lowe’s pulled its advertising last December, saying the show did not fit its advertising guidelines.
"We understand the program raised concerns, complaints or issues from multiple sides of the viewer spectrum, which we found after doing research of news articles and blogs covering the show," a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
But Lowe’s then faced a backlash and boycotts from Christian, Muslim and Interfaith religious groups who disagreed with the decision. Celebrities also weighed in, accusing the North Carolina company of succumbing to pressure from anti-Muslim extremists.
Verschuren joins energy storage venture in Canada
Annette Verschuren, the former president of Home Depot Canada and Asia, has joined a Toronto-based start-up that will commercialize energy storage technologies. Verschuren will serve as executive chair of NRStor Inc., a new company backed by Northwater Capital Management.
NRStor plans to develop Canada’s first Energy Storage Park that will demonstrate newly developed technologies that store electrical energy for later use. Such storage technologies can make intermittent sources of energy such as wind turbines and solar energy dispatchable by matching up energy generation and demand.
Some market research firms have estimated more than $120 billion will be invested in energy-storage projects between 2011 and 2021, as governments and regulators have recognized the inherent value and need for energy storage in electricity marketplace.
"I have a reputation for building things, but never have I been so excited about the possible outcomes," Verschuren said. "Energy storage is the missing link to creating a more viable renewable energy sector and satisfying the global crisis of rising electricity demand — all the puzzle pieces exist and NRStor is going to put them together."
As the former president of Home Depot Canada between 1996 and 2011, Verschuren oversaw the Atlanta retailer’s expansion in that country from 19 to 180 stores. She was also put in charge of Home Depot’s Asia’s operations when the company entered China in 2007.