Another homebuilder, another record quarter. Beazer Homes ( BZH) reported record earnings in its first quarter, crushing analysts' expectations, as the nation's housing boom continued despite the latest predictions of a slowdown. The Atlanta-based company earned $69.7 million, or $4.70 a share, up almost 48% from the year-ago quarter's $47.2 million, or $3.41 a share. Revenue rose 12.6% to $911.8 million from $810.1 million. Analysts expected the company to earn $4.36 a share. The company also reiterated its 2005 EPS forecast of $20.00 to $21.00 a share. The consensus estimate is $19.19. Beazer's backlog of new orders hit a record level of 8,427 homes. New orders rose 7.3% during the quarter. The company's Southeast, Central and Mid-Atlantic regions performed the best during the quarter; order growth in those regions was partially offset by lower orders in the Midwest and West regions. Shares rose 14 cents to $146.50 in the premarket.