Bit’s and Pieces from the news desk…..
Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. on Tuesday evening said second-quarter losses grew tenfold from a year earlier as it reported its seventh consecutive negative quarter.
"We expect to persevere through the current downturn and we will be in position to thrive again once the housing markets begin to recover," President and CEO Ara K. Hovnanian said in a statement.
After paying preferred stock dividends, the company reported a net loss of $340.7 million, or $5.29 per share, for the quarter that ended April 30. This compared with a loss of $30.7 million, or 49 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected Hovnanian to lose $2.64 per share in the quarter on revenue of $759.6 million.
The company said its net contracts for the second quarter, excluding joint ventures, declined 29 percent to 2,226 homes. Its average home price fell nearly 17 percent to $290,556 from the same period of 2007.
Here’s Johnny, and he’s got a foreclosure notice. ReconTrust, a unit of mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, on Feb. 28 filed a notice of default on a $4.8 million Countrywide loan backed by Mr. McMahon's home. ... According to the filing, Mr. McMahon was then about $644,000 in arrears on the loan. It isn't clear whether Countrywide still owns the loan or is acting on behalf of investors who acquired it.Mr. McMahon broke his neck in a fall about 18 months ago and hasn't been able to work, [Howard Bragman, a spokesman for Mr. McMahon] said.
Fewer new cars. In May, GM sales of cars and light trucks totaled 268,892, down from 371,056 a year earlier. There were 27 selling days in May, compared with 26 a year ago. General Motors said Tuesday that it would stop making pickup trucks and big S.U.V.s at four North American assembly plants and would consider selling its Hummer brand.
Ford reported May sales of 217,268 light vehicles, compared with 258,123 a year earlier. Sales of Ford trucks and sport-utility vehicles were down 26% to 126,364, with F-series truck sales tumbling 31%.
Toyota sold 257,404 vehicles in May, compared with 269,023 a year earlier. Toyota's passenger car sales inched up 0.4% to 168,942 while light-truck sales slid 12% to 88,462.
Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, reported its third straight quarterly loss as tumbling demand forced the company to write down land values.
The net loss for the fiscal second quarter ended April 30 was $93.7 million, or 59 cents a share. In the year-earlier second quarter, Toll had net income of $36.7 million, or 22 cents a share. The shares rose 3.1 percent after Toll recorded its lowest cancellation rate in a year and the loss was smaller than analysts' estimates.
New-home sales in April were the second-lowest since 1991 as tighter lending standards made it harder for potential buyers to finance purchases. The five largest U.S. builders have reported a combined $3.4 billion in losses in their most recent quarters, hurt by what Chief Executive Officer Robert Toll described today as a ``downward spiral'' of home prices.
New Home Sales,
Sales of new homes increased 3.3 percent in April after readings for the prior month were revised lower, the Commerce Department said on May 27. The April sales pace was an annual 526,000 homes, compared with an annual rate of 509,000 in March, the lowest in 17 years.
U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 65 percent and bank seizures more than doubled in April from a year earlier as mortgage industry efforts to modify loans fell short.
More than 243,300 properties were in some stage of foreclosure, the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of default data, began in January 2005. One in every 519 households received a filing and Nevada, California and Florida had the highest rates. Filings rose 4 percent from March.