Tuesday, June 03, 2008

This isn't anything new...what is fascinating is how it was reported, and by what news agency....(jump to the bottom of the report)

This popped up on The New York Times web page a few minutes ago. Bad enough that bad economic news is everywhere. Now, the reporting of it is being outsourced to Bangalore.
June 3, 2008

Toll Brothers Reports $93.7 Million Loss

Filed at 7:33 a.m. ET

(Reuters) - Toll Brothers Inc , the largest U.S. luxury home builder, posted a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss on Tuesday, hurt by weakened demand in most markets amid the nation's housing slump.

The net loss totaled $93.7 million, or 59 cents per share, and compared with a profit of $36.7 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 30 percent from a year earlier to $818.8 million. Home-building revenue totaled $818 million, also down 30 percent.

Analysts had forecast a loss of 96 cents per share on revenue of $807.2 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Excluding write-downs, Toll said quarterly profit was $81.3 million, or 49 cents per share. Toll said it posted pre-tax write-downs of $288.1 million.

The U.S. housing market has been in a tailspin as demand falls, prospective purchasers find it tougher to obtain financing, foreclosures soar, and builders cut prices.

"Demand continues to be weak in most markets as our clients worry about selling their existing homes or entering the market before prices stabilize," Chief Executive Robert Toll said in a statement.

To navigate the downturn, some builders have shifted their focus to survival, turning the excess land and inventory accumulated during the boom times of 2002 to 2006 into cash.

Toll said its backlog at the end of the second quarter fell 50 percent from a year earlier to $2.08 billion.

The company also said net contracts signed during the quarter, after cancellations, totaled 929 homes, down 44 percent. In dollar terms, net contracts fell 58 percent to $496.5 million.

In December, Toll Brothers had posted its first quarterly loss in 21 years as a public company.

Toll shares closed Monday at $20.96 on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares are up about 8 percent this year.

(Reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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Of the biblical allotment of three score and ten I have lived only three of them more than a bicycle ride from one of the Great Lakes. I grew up ten blocks from Lake Erie in the (once Irish/Italian ghetto, now newly-hip) "Near West Side" of Cleveland. I can still cycle to the Milwaukee lakefront in an hour and a half; but, a round-trip has always been more than I would (noror ever did) attempt. -0- I'm a "...somewhat combative pacifist and fairly cooperative anarchist," after the example of Grace Paley (1922-2007). -0- I'm always cheerful when I pay my taxes (having refused--when necessary--to pay that portion of them dedicated to war). -0- And I always, always vote.