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Beazer Homes posts quarterly profit

Earns Beazer
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2006 file photo, model homes at a Beazer Homes subdivision are seen near Sacramento, Calif. Beazer Homes USA said Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009, it posted a fourth-quarter profit despite a plunge in revenue, thanks to a large gain on the prepayment of debt. Rich Pedroncelli / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Beazer Homes USA said Tuesday it posted a fourth-quarter profit despite a plunge in revenue, thanks to a large gain on the prepayment of debt.

The Atlanta homebuilder said it saw "some moderation" in weak market trends, and the company's stock rose nearly 7 percent in premarket trading.

Beazer also said that despite low interest rates and a federal tax credit for first-time buyers, factors such as high unemployment and rising foreclosures make it difficult to predict when the housing market will recover.

Net income for the period ended Sept. 30 totaled $33.8 million, or 84 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $473.9 million, or $12.29 per share, a year earlier. Excluding discontinued operations, earnings amounted to 87 cents per share.

The latest quarter includes pretax gains totaling $89.3 million on the early extinguishment of debt.

Revenue fell 42 percent to $376.3 million from $649.8 million.

On average, analysts expected a loss of $1.24 per share on revenue of $338.3 million, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

New home orders rose 2.4 percent from a year earlier, while the cancellation rate improved to 34.7 percent from 46.3 percent.

At an investor conference last month, Allan Merrill, Beazer's chief financial officer, said home prices appeared to be hitting bottom in almost all of the builder's markets, including Texas, California, Indianapolis and the Carolinas.