KB Home reported another quarterly loss Friday as it wrote down more than $200 million for its fiscal first quarter sending shares down close to 5 percent.


The first-quarter net loss of $268 million ($3.47 per share) marks the fourth quarterly loss in a row for the homebuilder. The loss was more than twice the $1.17 per share loss analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting.


Revenues for the Los Angeles company fell 43 percent to $794 million as orders for new homes plunged 75 percent during the quarter. KB wrote down $224 million in pretax expenses for the value of land, joint ventures and options on property. It also had a $100 million tax-related expense. Wall Street was expecting revenues of $806 million.


KB's Chief executive didn't offer investors much optimism, saying the housing market isn't improving and probably won't rebound anytime soon.


"Until prices stabilize and consumer confidence returns, we believe inventory levels will remain significantly out of balance with demand," Mezger said. "We do not anticipate meaningful improvement in these conditions in the near term, as it is likely to take some time for the market to absorb the current excess housing supply and for consumer confidence to improve."


New home sales declined to their lowest level in 13 years in the month of February as banks continued to tighten lending standards and the nation's inventory of unsold homes continued to rise.


Shares in KB were down 4.5 percent to $24.68 in early trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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