Beazer Homes sales, orders up

The builder also posted a $48 million profit, thanks to a $101 million tax gain.

There were 961 homes sold in the last three months of 2009, compared to 890 in the first quarter of 2009, according to a conference call for investors. Nearly 730 new homes were ordered in the first quarter, a 37 percent increase over the 533 homes ordered the first quarter a year ago.

The increases are “good signs of recovery,” said the company’s chief executive, Ian McCarthy.

“While it is premature to signal the beginning of a sustainable recovery in the housing market, we are seeing indications that historically high levels of home affordability, home price stability, low mortgage interest rates and home buyer tax credits may be beginning to balance out,” he said.

Total revenue ticked up ever so slightly in the first quarter to$218.8 million, compared to $218.2 in its first quarter the year before.

Also helping the bottom line, the number of home cancellations improved to 27 percent in this first quarter, compared to 46 percent in the last three months of 2008.

“We are also pleased with the progress we made in improving our balance sheet, both during and after the end of the quarter," McCarthy said. “The increase in equity and reduction in debt better position us to fully participate in the eventual housing recovery.”

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