Atlanta-based Beazer Homes USA expects to pay more than $13 million in coming months for ongoing litigation, the companys chief executive told investors in a conference call Friday.
This announcement follows a proposed $30.5 million settlement in a Georgia case, to be picked up by its insurance carrier, and came as Beazer reported a 53 percent decline in revenue and cuts in staff by 43 percent over the same period last year.
President and CEO Ian J. McCarthy delivered the information during the second-quarter call.
The company reported a second-quarter loss of $114.8 million from continuing operations, or $2.97 per share, and a 48 percent drop in home sales. Investors lost $2.97 per share in this second quarter, down from the $5.93 a share they lost in the second quarter of 2008.
McCarthy began the call with an update on litigation in the western district of North Carolina, where federal and state investigators are looking into Beazer and its former lending arm, Beazer Mortgage. The company has admitted its employees violated downpayment-assistance regulations.
Beazer has engaged in several discussions to negotiate a possible resolution, McCarthy said. The company expects to incur expenses associated with the litigation of $11 million this fiscal year, which ends in September, and $2 million in 2010, at a minimum, he said. Those amounts are included in the second-quarter figures.
While there is no agreement with the U.S. Attorney, such negotiations have included the possibility of future payments linked to the companys ability to return to generating positive earnings and a limit on total liability of approximately $50 million over 60 months, he said.
The $30.5 million settlement is of a Georgia class-action lawsuit that accused Beazer and its top executives of artificially inflating the companys stock price on sales generated by making loans to unqualified buyers. The builder admits no wrongdoing.
In 2006, Beazer was the nations seventh-biggest home builder, and shares traded for as much as $79. Since then, stock prices have plummeted, and the company has downsized after homeowner defaults in the Charlotte area came to light, triggering the current investigations.