Homebuilders Take Another Hit

Shares of industry players dipped Tuesday after Hovnanian posted a big quarterly loss on a hefty land write-off

Optimists may wish to dwell on a recent trickle of good news for the housing sector—including a report issued on Dec. 19 showing a 6.7% jump in new-home construction in November (see BusinessWeek.com, 12/19/06, "Housing Starts Perk Up in November"). But the third-quarter results issued by homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) after the close of trading Dec. 18 were a brutal reminder that the industry remains mired in a big slump.

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