Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Toll Brothers sees big drop in sales

Homebuilder also expects to take up to $300 million in writedowns in first quarter; still sees 'challenging times' ahead.

Subscribe to Companies
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

Rocky Mountain foreclosures
Colorado suffered a 30% surge in foreclosures last year and the numbers keep rising.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc., which last quarter reported its first loss as a public company, released preliminary first-quarter results Wednesday that showed a sharp drop in sales.

Toll Brothers (TOL, Fortune 500) warned: "We are not yet seeing much light at the end of the tunnel," and said it expects to take up to $300 million in pre-tax writedowns in the first quarter.

The company did not provide specific earnings details, but said that average first-quarter homebuilding revenues fell 22% to about $842.7 million.

Signed homebuilding contracts declined 38% to 904 from 1,463 during the same period last year. First-quarter contracts totaled about $573.2 million, down 46% from $1.07 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2007.

The housing slump, which has resulted in a fall in home prices and sales across the country, has also affected Toll Brothers' average price per contract. The company reported an average price per home building contract of $634,000, down from $730,000 in the year-ago period.

`"The housing market remains very weak in most areas, Robert I. Toll, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. Chief Financial Officer Joel H. Rassman forecast "challenging times ahead."

Toll will announce full results when it releases first-quarter earnings on Feb. 27. To top of page

Photo Galleries
Top luxury hotel suites for business travelers For many people, you can't put a price on comfort. More
Million-dollar startups: These firms scored big sales their first year Their first year in business, these companies generated $1 million in sales. More
The 10 best states for retirees It might be worth moving to a new place to find your dream retirement home. Check out these 10 states. More
Sponsors