ALEX VEIGA

LOS ANGELES (AP) ¿ Homebuilder Pulte Homes Inc. reports earnings for the third quarter on Wednesday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst commentary related to the period:

OVERVIEW: Pulte, based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., has operations in 29 states. Its Del Webb brand is the nation's largest builder of communities for adults age 55 and over. The company has posted losses in each of the past 11 quarters.

Like other builders, Pulte continues to grapple with competition from heavily discounted foreclosed properties and a market that remains hampered by tighter mortgage-lending standards and high unemployment.

Still, it has seen new home orders pick up this year, thanks in part to low mortgage rates and a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers. The tax credit due to expire at the end of this month.

The looming expiration of the tax credit helped fuel builders' sales during much of the third quarter, but the impact of the incentive began to wane by September as it became less likely buyers could close a deal in time to qualify for the credit.

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