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J. M. Peters Has a $102-Million Quarterly Loss : Construction: The home builder blames the housing slump and regulators’ seizure of its largest lender.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

Home builder J. M. Peters Co. said Wednesday that it lost $102 million in its fourth quarter and $108 million in its latest fiscal year, much of it from unsold houses and vacant land the company must sell at a loss.

The loss in the fourth quarter compared to a profit of $11.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1990. Quarterly revenue fell to $53.7 million from $127.5 million.

The company closed sales on 146 homes, compared to 294 the quarter before.

Peters said sales for the fiscal year, which ended Feb. 28, plummetted to $215.5 million from $315.7 million the year before. In fiscal 1990, Peters reported a profit of $25.3 million. Stock analysts and the company had predicted a sizeable loss for the year.

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Peters blamed the losses on last year’s slumping housing market and the seizure by federal regulators of the company’s biggest stockholder--San Jacinto Savings Assn., a Texas thrift.

The seizure cut off one of Peters’ main sources of working capital, the firm said in a statement. When coupled with poor sales and uncertainty over its ownership, Peters was unable to borrow elsewhere.

To raise capital, it cut back its home building operations, laid off 142 people, cut management salaries and tried to sell land it had bought.

Of last year’s loss, $55.1 million came from a writedown in the value of houses and land. Peters expects another $29.2-million loss from selling land now under contract or expected to be sold.

Peters wrote off $19 million in goodwill, a bookkeeping intangible that represents the value of a company as a going concern.

It closed the sales of only 540 homes last fiscal year, compared to 775 the year before, when the market was more robust.

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Peters builds larger homes valued in excess of $300,000--the type hit hardest by the downturn. The company said it could raise sufficient capital to get through the rest of 1991 by selling land.

Peters executives could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

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