Pulte will take big charges in second quarter
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based home builder Pulte Homes said it will take charges of between $740 million and $770 million in the second quarter relating to land options contracts.
The company recorded net new orders of 7,532 homes, down 20 percent from last year’s second quarter. Home closings, at 5,938 homes, were down 40 percent.
“The difficult conditions that plagued the homebuilding industry in the first quarter of 2007 worsened in the second quarter, with increased competitive pricing pressures, elevated levels of new and resale home inventory and weak consumer sentiment for housing affecting the entire industry,” explained Richard Dugas, president and CEO of Pulte Homes.
The company will take an additional charge of $40 million for restructuring costs. The costs were due to efforts that included eliminating about 1,900 jobs – 16 percent of the company’s workforce.
Pulte builds homes in 27 states.
Universal Forest Products sees weaker Q2
Universal Forest Products, maker of engineered wood and building materials, had lower sales and earnings in the second quarter, due to lower lumber prices tied to a weak housing market.
Earnings for the second quarter fell to $16.8 million from $27.3 million in last year’s second quarter, a 38.5 percent decline. Sales fell 6.5 percent, to $773.1 million from $826.8 million last year.
The company saw a 30 percent drop in revenue from its site-built construction business, while other markets saw sales growth, including retail, industrial and manufactured housing.
“We’re disappointed with any decrease in performance, but these results also underscore the strength of our balanced business model,” said president and CEO Michael Glenn.
Universal Forest Products, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., markets, manufactures and engineers wood and wood products.
Acacia Research Corp., a developer of computer technologies including those related to fraud protection, said it has entered into a license agreement with Lowe’s.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Acacia will provide credit card fraud protection technology through its subsidiary, Financial Systems Innovation LLC.
The agreement will provide for a computerized system for protecting consumers using credit, debit or check cards in a transaction.
Newport Beach, Calif.-based Acacia provides a variety of computer-based services, including credit card protection, database management, broadcast data retrieval and more.