D.R. Horton Inc., the largest U.S. home builder, today reported an 85 percent decline in quarterly earnings as market conditions continue to challenge the nation’s home builders.

The company said that net income for its second fiscal quarter ended March 31 was $51.7 million, or 16 cents per share, down from $352.8 million, or $1.11 per share, during the same period a year ago. The 2007 quarterly earnings included charges related to the lower value of land.

Donald R. Horton, chairman of the board, said, “Market conditions in the home-building industry continue to be challenging in most of our markets as inventory levels of both new and existing homes remain high, and further increases in the use of sales incentives continue to put pressure on profit margins.”

Home-building revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2007 totaled $2.6 billion, compared with $3.5 billion in the same quarter of fiscal 2006. And homes closed in the current quarter totaled 9,792, compared with 12,570 homes closed a year ago.

The company’s sales backlog of homes under contract at the close of the quarter was 16,885 homes ($4.8 billion), compared with 24,017 homes ($7.1 billion) during the same period last year.

Net sales orders for the second quarter totaled 9,983 homes ($2.6 billion), compared with 15,771 homes ($4.4 billion) for the same quarter in 2006.

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