Pulte Homes ( PHM) swung to a fourth-quarter loss, as results were pulled down by $350 million in land-related charges.

The homebuilder also guided to an unprofitable first quarter, and said the "fluid" housing market prevents it from giving full guidance for 2007.

Pulte reported a quarterly loss from continuing operations of $8.3 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with profit of $532 million, or $2.03 a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected a loss of 1 cent per share, according to Thomson Financial.

Pulte's revenues fell 14% to $4.4 billion. New home orders fell 34% to 6,446 units.

Gross margins slid to 11% in the quarter from 22% a year earlier, dragged down by $350 million, or 88 cents per share, of write-offs and write-downs associated with land inventory.

For the first quarter, Pulte forecast results ranging from break-even to a loss of 10 cents 1 share -- exclusive of any additional land charges.

Wall Street currently expects a first-quarter profit of 15 cents a share.

"Pulte made meaningful progress during the fourth quarter by improving our house and land inventory positions, adjusting our SG&A levels and positioning ourselves for success in the future," CEO Richard J. Dugas said in a statement.

"In addition, we witnessed some promising signs of stabilization at the conclusion of the quarter, and into the first month of 2007, although it's too early to tell how strong and sustainable this may prove to be in the months ahead," he said.

The company said its cancellation rate on orders declined to 34.7% in the fourth quarter from 35.8% in the third quarter and continued to improve into January 2007.

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