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Hovnanian 4Q revenue to meet or beat predictions

RED BANK, N.J. (AP) -- Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. said Friday that it expects to post fiscal fourth-quarter revenue that will meet or exceed current Wall Street predictions despite delays in home closings stemming from Superstorm Sandy.

The Red Bank, N.J.-based homebuilder said that home deliveries are typically heavily weighted to the final days of the quarter and fiscal year, so the timing of Sandy's landfall earlier this week hurt its ability to deliver homes, particularly in its New Jersey markets, during the final week of its fiscal year.

Hovnanian said its operations in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia also were affected.

Between 50 and 75 homes that were scheduled to be closed during the first three days of this week, before the end of the fiscal year, have been delayed and will end up closing during the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Hovnanian said.

Hovnanian said it still expects revenue in the quarter to match or exceed current First Call revenue estimates of $461.1 million, though it would have been higher without storm-related delays. FactSet's survey of analysts has Hovnanian's fiscal fourth-quarter revenue at $459.1 million.

The company said it continues to assess the storm-related damages to its homes, but expects that most of the costs will be covered by insurance. Hovnanian added that since the delayed homes are expected to be delivered later in fiscal 2013, and its sales backlog remains strong, it doesn't expect any long-term effects from the storm.

The company also said Friday that its $797 million debt refinancing is expected to reduce fourth-quarter and full-year results by $87 million as a result of debt-extinguishment charges.

Hovnanian shares rose 18 cents, or 4 percent, to $4.68 in afternoon trading.