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Ryland Takes Big Hit

The builder records a $200 million loss for the fourth quarter.




reported a $201.9 million loss for the fourth quarter, as land impairment charges continue to hammer the company's bottom line.

The results show that homebuilders still face mounting problems as the housing market deteriorates further. Nonetheless, Ryland and other builder stocks have jumped this week as investors bet that

Federal Reserve's

emergency 75-basis-point cut on Tuesday will help soften the landing.

Ryland's loss amounted to $4.80 per share, much worse than the 17-cent loss that analysts expected, according to Thomson Financial. A year ago, the company had a profit of $87 million, or $1.98 per share.

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The results were hit by inventory impairments and write-offs totaling $242.7 million, as well as a $75.2 million charge tied to a deferred tax valuation allowance.

Revenue fell 37% to $828 million in the quarter, as home closings slid 30%.

New orders fell 7% to 1,596 units.

During the quarter, Ryland generated $312 million of cash flow, which it used to pay off $144 million of debt.

On Wednesday, Ryland shares surged 15.5% to $31.22. The stock fell 1% to $30.90 in after-hours trading following the report.

On Thursday, fellow builder


(LEN) - Get Lennar Corporation Class A Report

will release its latest-quarter results, and the National Association of Realtors will report existing-home sales for December.