updated 11/6/2007 9:37:22 AM ET 2007-11-06T14:37:22

Beazer Homes USA Inc., whose home closings have plunged amid turmoil in the housing industry, warned Monday that it expects to record pretax charges of $230 million in its fiscal fourth quarter.

It also said it has cut jobs and is suspending its quarterly dividend to reduce costs.

The Atlanta-based homebuilder said in a statement that it is unable to provide a full, audited report of its results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, but wanted to provide some preliminary data to investors.

The company is currently in the midst of restating financial results for several prior-year periods.

The charges Beazer expects to record for its fourth quarter are non-cash and relate to abandoning land option contracts and recognizing inventory impairments.

Beazer said the figure is unaudited and subject to change.

Beazer previously disclosed that home closings for the fourth quarter totaled 3,940, a 39-percent decline from the same period in the prior fiscal year.

Net new home orders totaled 973, a decline of 53 percent from the prior fiscal year, driven largely by an unusually high cancellation rate, which the company attributed in part to the pronounced tightening in the mortgage markets in August and September.

Beazer said it has taken several steps to reduce costs, including cutting 650 jobs, or 25 percent of its work force, in October. Since reaching peak staff levels in March 2006, overall head count has declined by over 50 percent through reductions and attrition, Beazer said.

The company expects the most recent job cuts to generate yearly cost savings of at least $30 million.

Also, the company said Monday that its board of directors voted to suspend the company’s quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share, a move expected to save Beazer $16 million annually.

Last month, Beazer said it will restate financial results for a three-year period after an internal probe found its mortgage origination unit violated federal lending rules.

The company has said the cumulative impact of its restatements will likely be an increase in profit, though it can’t say exactly how much. It also said the restatements will not cause an adjustment to the company’s current cash position.

Beazer said the internal probe by its audit committee found evidence that employees of its Beazer Mortgage Corp. subsidiary violated regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development related to down payment assistance programs.

The company said it doesn’t know exactly what its future liability will be from the violations, but its projections ranged from $8 million to $15 million.

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