Luxury home builder Toll Brothers on Tuesday said the slowing housing market contributed to a 19 percent drop in profit during its fiscal third quarter. The company reported income of $174.6 million, or $1.07 per share, for the quarter ended July 31, compared with $215.5 million, or $1.27 a share, during the same period a year earlier. Toll Brothers said write-downs related to land and an existing community in Detroit also contributed to the slide in quarterly earnings. Third-quarter total revenues were $1.53 billion, down from $1.55 billion the previous fiscal year. Third-quarter backlog was $5.59 billion, compared with the record $6.43 billion in fiscal 2005, and signed contracts were $1.05 billion, down from $1.92 billion. Robert I. Toll, chairman and CEO, said some of the market's current softness in demand is due to speculative buyers of past years who are now sellers, and home builders who overbuilt and are now offering discounts to unload. "The continuing malaise in the housing...
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