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KB Home reports an unexpected profit in the fourth quarter

January 7, 2011 |  6:54 am


Los Angeles homebuilder KB Home unexpectedly reported a fourth-quarter profit on Friday.

The building titan delivered fewer homes than during the same period one year earlier and orders for new dwellings plunged. But the company sold properties at a higher price and cut its costs considerably.

The company said it earned $17.4 million in net income, or 23 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, an 83% decline from the same period a year earlier when the company benefited from a huge tax break. Analysts had expected a loss and the company’s shares were up more than 4% in early-morning trading.

"We are very pleased to have ended the year with a solidly profitable fourth quarter,"   Chief Executive Jeffrey Mezger said.

KB Home's results for the three months ended Nov. 30 captured a period in which home sales nationally weakened after the expiration of the federal tax credit for buyers. Revenues totaled $451.0 million in the fourth quarter, down from $674.6 million in the corresponding year-earlier quarter.

-- Alejandro Lazo

Photo: A KB Home model in the Willow Ranch community in Corona, CA. (Bret Hartman/ For The Times)