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Toll Brothers lost $472 million in Q3

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[August 27, 2009]  HORSHAM, Pa., (AP) -- Toll Brothers Inc. says it lost $472.3 million in its fiscal third quarter, as the luxury homebuilder took a large tax hit.

But while Toll Brothers' results were worse than analysts expected, the company is seeing signs of improvement in the industry.

The builder said Thursday it lost $2.93 a share in the three months ended July 31. That compares with a loss of $29.3 million, or 18 cents a share, the same period last year.

Toll Brothers sold 792 homes with revenue totaling $461.4 million. Those results were down 36 percent and 42 percent, respectively, from the third fiscal quarter last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a loss of $1.79 a share on revenue of about $460.2 million

Toll took a $439.4 million non-cash deferred tax allowance and write-downs totaling $115 million in the quarter. Excluding those charges, the company would have earned $3.7 million in the most recent quarter.

And the current quarter is looking even better. The number of buyers putting down deposits for a new home is running 26 percent ahead of the year-ago period.

While market conditions are still tough, "We do see signs for optimism," Robert Toll, chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

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For the first time in three years, the company's backlog of orders increased compared to the prior quarter. And sales in its current communities are a third ahead of last year.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department reported sales of new U.S. homes surged almost 10 percent in July, another sign the housing market is climbing back from the historic bottom it reached early this year.


On the Net:

Toll Brothers: http://www.tollbrothers.com/

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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