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Beazer Homes USA Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

The second topic relates to our common stock. We're very sensitive to the dilution experienced by our shareholders with the recent capital raise and the share price performance since the offering. At the same time, we have heard from many market participants that our low share price and high stock price volatility are impediments for prospective shareholders. For this reason, the board is currently considering whether a reverse stock split may be beneficial. While a reverse split, we do nothing to change the value of the company, it may signal to investors that our balance sheet has been substantially enhanced and we're now in a forward-looking path-to-profitability mode. In the event we decide to pursue such a reverse split, we would expect to adjust downward our total authorized shares by some amount. And of course, any decision by our board on this matter would be explicitly subject to shareholder approval.

The highlights from our third quarter include substantially higher new home orders and closings with improvements in every geographic segment. This quarter represents the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement in these key metrics.

In terms of specific numbers, we recorded 1,555 new home orders, which was up 28% over the third quarter of fiscal 2011, despite having a lower community count. The orders were driven by a substantial improvement in sales per community per month, which grew from 2.2 in last year's third quarter to about 2.9 this year.

We closed 1,109 new homes, up 40% over the third quarter of fiscal 2011. We ended the quarter with a backlog that is 33% higher than the same time last year. We generated unlevered homebuilding gross margins of 16.7%, allowing us to reach a year-to-date gross margin of 18%, the same as last year's gross margins on a year-to-date basis. And we maintained substantial liquidity, ending the quarter with $232 million in unrestricted cash, which was further enhanced by our financing transactions in July.

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