(Reuters) - Beazer Homes USA (BZH.N) reported a quarterly loss as new home orders fell by about a fourth due to the absence of tax incentives for first-time home buyers.
January-March net loss from continuing operations was $54.9 million, or 74 cents per share, compared with a year-ago profit of $6.2 million, or 10 cents per share.
Homebuilding revenue slumped 35.7 percent while the number of homes closed fell 31.1 percent.
Revenue from continuing operation fell 34 percent to $127.5 million.
Net new home orders decreased about 27 percent to 1,194, the company said in a statement.
Analysts on average had expected the company to post a loss of 47 cents a share, excluding items, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Atlanta-based Beazer has operations in 15 states, including those areas hardest-hit by the housing slump, such as the Southwest and Florida.
Homebuilders are grappling with a heavy overhang of used homes and cut-rate foreclosures that are depressing prices nationwide. The glut of used homes dates mainly from the years of the housing boom when risky lending and overbuilding were rampant. Home prices peaked in the summer of 2006.
U.S. single-family home prices fell for an eighth straight month in February, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index, which showed prices in 20 cities falling 3.3 percent year-over-year.
Shares of the company, valued at about $355 million, closed at $4.56 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Unnikrishnan Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)