Palm Harbor Homes
said that it will post a "modest loss" for the first quarter, well below the 25 cents a share the company earned in the year-ago quarter.
The manufactured homes maker said that sales are depressed due to financing-related changes for potential purchaers. In a press release, Chairman Lee Posey said, "Several key lenders have withdrawn entirely from the market, and those remaining have imposed much tighter qualifications for new loans."
Additionally, the company said legislative changes in Texas, one of its most important markets, were forcing buyers to use more complicated mortgage financing.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had been expecting Palm Harbor to earn 15 cents a share in the second-quarter.
Looking ahead, the company said it could not provide full-year guidance due to the market's continuing volatility. "We do not have a reasonable basis for offering guidance about what our absolute level of profitability may be for fiscal 2003 as a whole ... because of the current industry environment."
Shares of Palm Harbor Homes closed at $22.50 Tuesday before the news.