Pulte to slash work force by 16%

Nation's fourth-largest homebuilder to take up to $50 million pretax charge in restructuring.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Pulte Homes, the nation's fourth-largest homebuilder, announced a restructuring plan Tuesday, saying it plans to further trim its work force by 16 percent.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based homebuilder said it would also take a pretax charge between $40 million and $50 million.

Pulte said the new plan was designed to reduce costs and improve operating efficiencies.

"The homebuilding environment remains difficult and our current overhead levels are structured for a business that is larger than the market presently allows," Richard J. Dugas, Jr., the company's president and CEO said in a statement.

"Despite reducing our work force by approximately 25 percent in 2006 and early 2007, we find it necessary at this time to further reduce overhead expenditures, including, unfortunately, reducing an additional sixteen percent of our jobs," he added.

Homebuilder stocks been particularly hard hit lately as the once red-hot housing market has turned sour. Late last month, Pulte posted a loss, while rival D.R. Horton (Charts, Fortune 500) reported a 37 percent drop in the number of new homes sold in the latest quarter.

Pulte (Charts, Fortune 500) shares climbed in after-hours trading Tuesday after edging lower during regular trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Top of page