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KB Home's fourth-quarter profit disappoints

KB Home's fourth-quarter profit disappoints
Houses by KB Home are seen under construction in Petaluma, Calif., in 2013. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

KB Home on Thursday reported a worse-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter profit, blaming harsh weather in some parts of the country and labor shortages for weaker deliveries of homes.

Its shares dropped almost 8% in premarket trading. But a jump in revenue and in selling prices suggested the housing market continues to recover.

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The Los Angeles-based company earned $44 million, or 43 cents per share, marking a sharp decline from a year earlier, which included a hefty tax benefit.

The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 51 cents per share.

The homebuilder's revenue jumped 24% to $985.8 million in the period, which also missed Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.07 billion.

The average selling price for a home rose 8% to $379,800, but softer delivery numbers helped undercut that benefit. Deliveries rose 16%, but backlogged homes jumped 36% as the company faced harsh weather in some markets along with labor shortages that delayed the completion of homes.

For the year, the company reported profits of $84.6 million, or 85 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $3.03 billion.

The stock fell 93 cents, or 7.9%, to $10.86 in premarket trading Thursday.

KB Home shares have declined slightly more than 4% since the beginning of the year. The stock has decreased 24% in the past 12 months.

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