Toll Brothers Posts First Quarter Loss

Horsham, Penn.–Homebuilder Toll Brothers, based in Horsham, Penn., announced a first quarter loss Wednesday due to the housing decline, CNNMoney.com reports.The luxury builder saw a net loss of $96 million, or 61 cents per share, including $245.5 million in pre-tax writedowns.Company earnings–not including writedowns and one-time events –totaled $57.3 million; in the same period last year, earnings were $54.3 million. Toll Brothers’ first quarter revenue, $842.9 million, declined 23 percent from the first quarter of 2007.Some markets, such as Naples, Fla., and Washington D.C.’s Maryland suburbs, seem to be improving, the company said in a conference call. However, Toll Brothers expressed doubt about the future of 35 other U.S. housing markets.The company’s new home order cancellation rate–despite an increase in the initial deposit required–is currently between 25 to 30 percent, compared with a 7 percent average for the past 40 years.