Hovnanian's Stock Drops After Wider-than-expected Loss

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Shares of Hovnanian Enterprises fell 1.2% in morning trade Thursday after the home builder reported a wider-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss. For the quarter ended Jan. 31, the loss came in at $14.4 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $24.5 million, or 17 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 22% to $445.7 million, as deliveries grew 11% to 1,149 homes. The FactSet consensus analyst estimates were for a loss of 7 cents a share and revenue of $435 million. Homebuilding gross margin declined to 18.2% from 18.8%. "If the housing market continues to strengthen, we are hopeful that the sequential decline in gross margin we experienced will reverse itself during the second half of fiscal 2015," said Chief Executive Ara Hovnanian. The stock has lost 22% in the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.3%.

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