NEWPORT BEACH — J.M. Peters Co. Inc., its faltering performance bolstered by a huge cut in its federal income tax bill, Thursday reported third-quarter profit of $8.8 million, or 63 cents a share, compared to a year-earlier net loss of $7.1 million, or 51 cents a share.
But the builder of upscale homes posted an operating loss of $5.1 million for the quarter ended Nov. 30, compared to a loss of $11.5 million for the 1990 quarter. Sales plunged 41% to $23.5 million from $40 million.
Peters officials were not available Tuesday for comment.
The company has been plagued both by the ongoing building industry recession and by the collapse early this year of the Texas savings and loan that owns 87% of its stock and provided much of its construction funding.
All of Peters' third-quarter profit came from a onetime reduction of income taxes in the amount of $13.9 million--an adjustment the company said resulted from a recent tax audit.
Despite a big drop in orders for the third quarter--17 contrasted with 89 a year earlier--Peters said it booked 309 orders for the first nine months, up 4% from the prior year.
Orders booked in one quarter show up in subsequent quarters as completed sales. The company said it also closed escrow on 71 homes during the latest quarter, down from 105 last year.
For the nine-month period, Peters lost $6.8 million, or 48 cents a share, compared to a loss of $6 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company's nine-month loss, not taking into account the income-tax benefit, was $20.7 million. For the corresponding period a year ago, the pretax loss was $9.2 million.
In its financial report, the company said it closed escrow on 322 homes in the first nine months, down 18% from 394 completed sales in the year-earlier period.