Biggest Homebuilder has Smaller Loss
CNBC reports the biggest U.S. homebuilder, D.R. Horton, has a smaller than expected quarterly loss. The company also reported orders fell as demand remained soft following the expiration of the federal government’s homebuyer tax credit. The traditional homebuilder’s loss narrowed to $8.9 million, or 3 cents per share, in the quarter ending on Sept. 30 from $234.9 million, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.
FCC Told Net Neutrality Should Extend to Mobile
Phoenix-based wireless communications consulting company Smartcomm recently weighed in on the net neutrality debate saying the future of the Internet is mobile and it should be open to both established firms and entrepreneurial start-ups like MHMSM.com. For months, the FCC has been gathering comments from telecommunication providers and others on ideal practices to preserve an open and competitive Internet. The FCC also is currently seeking industry perspectives on the controversial topic of telecommunication providers giving faster digital service in exchange of higher fees, or tiered access pricing structures. In August, Verizon and Google proposed a scenario in which consumers would have an open “wired” Internet, but with significant exclusions for wireless broadband. This proposal would allow carriers to charge content companies more money for faster access and possibly block certain services from reaching customers at all. The proposal by Google and Verizon drew both support and critics alike. Supporters, including large telecom companies like AT&T, support the move, but others such as Facebook balk at the proposed idea of fast lanes for speedier Web experiences – in exchange for higher costs. The argument against this idea is that those companies who pay the most, and have the fastest connections, could rule the Internet by undermining competition, controlling users and restricting access to certain content and applications.
Throw What You Will at This Glass House
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Simon Parrish of Ambiente housing has spent about 20 years developing a method of housing with a key ingredient of waste glass. The company grinds waste glass into a very fine powder, then combines it with a resin to form reinforced wall sections that are resistant to fire, water and mold and engineered to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. Once manufactured, houses are shipped out as kits to be assembled at a construction site. Costs are in line with traditional residential construction.
Kazakhstan Says Bring in the Steel
Olympia Steel Buildings announced recently the company has landed a huge contract to ship buildings into Kazakhstan for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant planned for the manufacture of modular housing to meet the recent housing development boom. “The oil boom that Kazakhstan is now experiencing has created an urgent need for modular housing and major housing development projects,” says company President Arnold Davis. “It is no secret that due to earthquake vulnerability, the entire region is moving away from concrete structures toward the safety and security of solid steel I-beam, pre-engineered, steel building construction. Strict building codes that apply to pre-engineered steel buildings and metal buildings systems assure that pre-engineered steel buildings meet seismic codes and will not crumble and collapse when the earth shakes like other structures do.”
North American Housing to Close Plant
From the Northern Virginia Daily comes news that North American Housing Corp. will close its modular home manufacturing facility in Strasburg, Virginia this month, affecting about 60 workers. Company representatives told the paper that demand for modular housing in the region has declined to the point that it is no longer feasible to keep the facility open.
Origen Financial Announces Third Quarter 2010 Results
Origen Financial, a real estate investment trust that manages residual interests in securitized manufactured housing loan portfolios, announced a net loss of approximately $2.9 million, or $0.11 per share, for the quarter ended September 30, as compared to a net loss of approximately $4.3 million, or $0.17 cents per share, for the third quarter of 2009. For the nine months year to date, the company says it realized a net loss of approximately $10.9 million, or $0.42 per share, as compared to a net loss of approximately $6.3 million, or $0.24 per share, for the same period in 2009. Origen’s Board of Directors declared a dividend payment of $0.10 per share to be paid to holders of Origen’s common stock of record on November 30, 2010. The dividend will be paid on December 21, 2010, and will approximate $2.6 million. The cash dividend will represent a return of capital. The third quarter 2010 provision for loan losses was approximately $5.7 million versus approximately $6.8 million for the prior year quarter, a decrease of 16 percent. Year-to-date, the loan loss provision totaled approximately $19.7 million as compared to a provision of approximately $15.7 million for the first nine months of 2009, an increase of 25 percent.
Market Closes Down, Again
Stocks closed down yet again on Friday after China indicated it may take measures to slow its economy. The Dow was down nearly one percent and the Manufactured Housing Composite Value was down nearly three percent. All of the manufactured housing and related stocks on our watch list were down. The biggest losers included Palm Harbor Homes, down nearly six percent on top of Thursday’s steep declines. Another Penny Stock, All American Group, was down almost eight percent. Cavco was down a little more than three percent and both Skyline and Drew Industries were off around 2.3 percent. If it’s any sort of glimmer among the clouds hovering over the housing industry, Friday’s top performing industry segment was Home Furnishings and Fixtures, up 2.36 percent.