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KB Home 2Q loss narrows, delivers more homes

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- KB Home's second-quarter loss narrowed, with the homebuilder continuing to deliver more homes at higher prices in the strengthening real estate market.

The company's results topped analysts' expectations, and its shares rose in premarket trading Thursday.

Similar to other homebuilders, KB Home is benefiting as the housing market recovery builds momentum.

The U.S. housing market is recovering after a crash and years of stagnation. Steady hiring and low mortgage rates have encouraged more people to make a home purchase. And with demand up, prices rising and a limited supply of homes on the market, builders have grown more optimistic about their prospects, leading to more construction and jobs.

Homebuilders are a bellwether for the housing market and the economy. While new homes represent less than one-fifth of the total housing market, construction of houses has a major impact on the economy.

KB Home's results come two days after Lennar Corp. reported second-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's view. The Commerce Department also reported Tuesday that sales of new homes rose in May to the fastest pace in five years as prices climbed.

For the three months ended May 31, KB Home lost $3 million, or 4 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $24.1 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out a charge of $15.9 million related to some repairs, the company earned $12.9 million.

Analysts predicted a loss of 6 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue for the Los Angeles company soared 73 percent to $524.4 million from $302.9 million, well ahead of Wall Street's $454 million estimate.

KB Home's stock gained 24 cents to $20.13 before the market opened.

Home deliveries increased 39 percent to 1,797 homes, while the average selling price rose 25 percent to $290,400.

Backlog, an indicator of potential future housing revenue, climbed 19 percent to $826.6 million.