PulteGroup builds a better Q4
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based PulteGroup reported fourth-quarter net income of $14 million, compared with a net loss of $165 million in the prior-year quarter.
Revenue from home sales in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, totaled $1.2 billion, up 1% over the prior year’s fourth quarter. The increase in revenues was driven by a 3% increase in average selling price to $271,000, which was partially offset by a 2% decrease in closings to 4,303 homes.
For the quarter, the PulteGroup reported 3,084 net new orders. Prior-year orders of 3,044 reflect a one-time pick up of 200 signups, which resulted from a change in the company’s order recognition process. Excluding those orders, the home builder saw a year-over-year increase in orders of 8%.
"We are pleased to report PulteGroup’s fourth-quarter earnings, which demonstrate the company’s continued progress on our initiatives to expand margins and lower overhead costs," said Richard Dugas Jr., chairman, president and CEO of PulteGroup. "In addition to our improved operating results, we also successfully sold 23 non-strategic land assets for $64 million and were able to repurchase $257 million par value of our debt for $252 million. These transactions continue to strengthen our balance sheet and will help to improve our return on invested capital over time.”
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2011, PulteGroup reported a net loss of $210 million, compared with a net loss of $1.1 billion in the prior year.
Revenues from home sales for the period totaled $4.0 billion, compared with revenues of $4.4 billion in the prior year. Lower revenues for the period were driven primarily by an 11% decrease in closings to 15,275 homes.
Beazer Homes posts positive Q1 results
Atlanta-based Beazer Homes has reported first-quarter net income of $739,000, compared with a net loss of $48.8 million in the prior-year quarter.
In the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, revenue totaled $188.5 million, up 73% from $109.0 million in the same period a year ago.
“I am pleased with our results for the quarter,” said Allan Merrill, president and CEO of Beazer Homes. “In spite of still challenging market conditions, our team managed to generate a 36% improvement in year-over-year new home orders while reducing overhead costs in dollar and percentage terms. While we have a lot of work in front of us to return to sustainable profitability, we are committed to delivering higher orders and closings as well as positive EBITDA for the full fiscal year.”
Total new orders for the quarter were 724 homes, a 36% increase from fiscal 2011.
Total backlog from continuing operations totaled 1,307 homes with a sales value of $315.8 million, compared with 787 homes with a sales value of $198.0 million as of Dec. 31, 2010.
Pennsylvania bill would protect homeowners against mechanic’s liens
A bill introduced into the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would protect that state’s homeowners from mechanics’ liens filed by subcontractors if the homeowners paid the contractor in full.
The bill would eliminate the ability of subcontractors, suppliers and others to file liens on owner-occupied residences when the monetary obligations have been paid in full.
This happened not long ago to a group of 17 property owners facing mechanics’ liens in Westmoreland, Pa., because the roofing company they hired allegedly failed to pay the material supplier, according to an article in the Greensboro Tribune-Review. One of the properties is an apartment building.
The liens were filed last month by ABC Supply Co, the Beloit, Wis., firm with an outlet in New Castle. ABC Supply claimed in court papers that Prime Roofing Systems of Waxahachie, Texas, failed to pay them for more than $64,000 in building materials delivered to the 17 properties. Property owners have said they paid Prime Roofing for the work, which was done to repair damage from a tornado and hail storm that ripped through the county last March.
Rebecca Ruble of Hempfield said she had a $3,700 lien placed on her home by ABC Supply as a result of the Prime Roofing Systems non-payment. She said the proposed legislation — which was introduced in May and is slowly winding its way through the Pennsylvania legislature — is too late to help her.
Under the bill, a property owner would file a notice when work starts, which would require all subcontractors and suppliers to provide owners with notice of the work they are performing or the materials they are providing. These notices might be filed through a website. Ohio has a similar law.
The Pennsylvania House is scheduled to vote on the bill in the next month and then move it on for consideration in the Senate.