KB Home posts smaller 1Q loss, but orders fall

KB Home is based in Los Angeles (AP Photo)KB Home is based in Los Angeles (AP Photo)(AP) — KB Home says cancellations on contracts for new homes spiked in its fiscal first quarter, driving its home orders down 8 percent — not an encouraging sign heading into the spring home-selling season. Shares slumped.

Orders were canceled because KB Home raised prices and some mortgage lenders backed away from making loans.

But in a conference call with analysts, CEO Jeffrey Mezger stresses that overall, the housing market is improving in the United States.

The Los Angeles homebuilder says it lost $45.8 million, or 59 cents a share, for the quarter ended Feb. 29. That compares with a loss of $114.5 million, or $1.49 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 29 percent