Centex ( CTX) swung to a third-quarter loss, as expected, and signaled that more land option write-offs are on the horizon. The homebuilder reported a quarterly loss of $228 million, or $1.90 a share, compared with year-earlier profit of $313 million, or $2.49 a share, a year earlier. The loss from continuing operations amounted to $1.96 a share, slightly narrower than the company's estimate of $2 a share last week. Analysts expected a loss of $2 a share, according to Thomson Financial. Total revenue fell 7% to $3.28 billion. Centex wrote off $138 million of option contracts and recorded $297 million of land adjustments because of the slowing housing market. The company guided to break-even earnings from continuing operations for quarter ending March 31. The guidance includes charges of 65 cents a share from option walk-away costs. Analysts expected earnings of 56 cents a share for the coming quarter. Total new-home orders fell 24% to 6,139 units in the third quarter. Orders dropped across the country, including a 54% plunge in the Southeast and a 34% drop in the Midwest. The West Coast fared the best, with a 4% order decline.