March 21 (Reuters) - KB Home, the fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder, reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss and a jump in new home orders.
The company's net loss narrowed to $12.46 million, or 16 cents per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 28 from $45.8 million, or 59 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of 22 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net orders rose 40 percent to 1,671 homes. Orders are a key indicator for builders, who do not book revenue until they build and sell a house.