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Pulte Homes Expects Quarterly Loss

The company expects writedowns and charges of $130 million to $140 million.
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Pulte Homes (PHM) - Get PulteGroup, Inc. Report said Wednesday it expects a first-quarter loss from continuing operations of 34 cents to 38 cents a share, including impairments and land-related charges of about $130 million to $140 million.

The impairments and charges will hurt results by about 32 cents to 34 cents a share, implying the company is still in line with its prior first-quarter forecast range of break-even EPS to a loss of 10 cents a share, excluding any impairments or land-related charges.

Pulte said net new orders fell 21% to 8,499 in the first quarter, while closings dropped 37%. The company's cancellation rate was 24% for the first quarter of 2007, compared with 35% for the fourth quarter of 2006.

"The operating environment for homebuilding continues to be challenging, with orders and closings remaining under pressure," said Richard J. Dugas Jr., president and CEO. "While we experienced improvement in our cancellation rate compared with the fourth quarter, the housing market remains difficult. We continue to focus on maintaining a healthy balance sheet and properly managing house and land inventory levels."

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Shares of Pulte closed Wednesday at $27.95, up $1.27 or 4.8%.