Toll Brothers 4Q home-building revenue declines

Financial Crisis Posted on

Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. said Tuesday its home building revenue dropped 41 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter as the financial crisis exacerbated ongoing weakness in the housing market.

Toll said preliminary home-building revenue declined to $691 million in the three months ended Oct. 31 from $1.17 billion, while backlog dropped 54 percent to $1.33 billion from $2.85 billion.

Net signed contracts for the quarter also slid 27 percent to $266.7 million from $365.3 million.

For the fiscal year, home-building revenue declined 32 percent to $3.15 billion, and net signed contracts declined 47 percent to $1.61 billion.

Toll ended the fiscal year with $1.63 billion in cash and believes this liquidity can help the company weather turmoil in the industry.

Its shares fell 37 cents, or 2 percent, to $18.58 in morning trading Tuesday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.49 to $28.

Chief Executive Robert I. Toll said the preliminary signs of stability in the market discussed by the company in early September were reversed by the financial crisis. At that time, Toll said there were signs of a stabilizing market, as Toll had the lowest contract cancellation rate in more than two years, and more buyers were putting down deposits.

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