As housing markets cooled, profits at several major home-building companies were sawed in half in the latest-reported quarter compared to the same quarter last year, while stock prices have generally recovered from annual lows in July. In their latest quarterly earnings reports, publicly traded builders Centex Corp., D.R. Horton Inc., Pulte Homes Inc. and Standard Pacific Corp. said that earnings were down more than 50 percent in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter last year. For the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, Standard Pacific reported a 68 percent drop in net income compared to the same period in 2005 -- from $96.4 million to $30.8 million. Centex reported net earnings of $137.4 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, down 58.9 percent compared to net earnin...
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