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Home builder Ryland Group posts loss of $65.7 million

Third-quarter results are hurt by falling demand and prices.

October 23, 2008|Peter Y. Hong | Hong is a Times staff writer.

Calabasas-based home builder Ryland Group Inc. reported a third-quarter loss of $65.7 million Wednesday as revenue dropped 26.7%.

The hard-hit builder's sales were $526.2 million during the period of July 1 through Sept. 30, down from $717.5 million for the same period a year earlier.

The loss of $1.54 a share exceeded 11 analysts' average projection of $1.10 a share, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Ryland released the earnings results after the close of regular trading. The company's shares fell $1.10 to $17.90. The stock has dropped 35% this year.

Company officials declined to comment, saying they would do so in a conference call with analysts today.

Ryland builds homes in 17 states. Some of the firm's California developments are in areas particularly hard-hit by the housing crash, including the Inland Empire and the Coachella Valley. Like other construction businesses, the firm has been hurt by a reduction in demand and prices for homes.

Ryland closed escrow on 2,017 homes in the quarter, compared with 2,495 closings the same period last year. The company's average closing price on a home for the quarter was $254,000, down from $284,000.

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peter.hong@latimes.com

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