Good luck. The L.A.-based homebuilder reported a mish-mash of a fourth-quarter that had a $50 million net loss - better than what Wall Street was expecting. My question is how Wall Street could put an estimate on a company that's become very hard to read, what with declining land values and high cancellation rates and of course the ongoing stock options scandal that KB's new CEO, Jeff Mezger, managed to avoid talking about during this morning's conference call with analysts. Crazy man Jim Cramer seems to think that KB is a lot stronger than investors are giving it credit for - to the point where the company might be ripe for a takeover. "How in heck did KB Home have up revenue? How can it not be drowned in red ink and sales shortfalls? I think it's because the housing business is better, as an industry, than we perceive it. Maybe that's why, at a certain point, they got that premium multiple," Cramer wrote in his RealMoney.com blog. But Street.com's Nicholas Yulico says no one knows how much further the U.S. housing market will fall before it reaches bottom. And he notes that KB revenue being up doesn't mean much because homebuilders' revenue comes from closings that occur six to nine months after order contracts are booked (that's a lifetime ago). Meanwhile, KB's net orders, which give a preview for future revenues, fell 38 percent in the fourth quarter.
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