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Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. reported a larger-than-expected first quarter loss of $14.8 million on Thursday, although revenue came in higher than what analysts had been expecting.

The company, the largest homebuilder based here, earned $143.7 million in the quarter. That was down 18% from year-ago levels, but about 5% higher than analyst expectations for the quarter.

Standard Pacific’s first quarter loss was a little more than double what analysts had expected. The company lost $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2010.

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Home deliveries in the quarter totaled 439, down 18% from a year ago. It reported 652 new home orders in the quarter, a 10% decline from a year ago.

Company officials said the company was beginning to open more communities, which should boost sales.

About 40 communities are expected to open in the first half of the year, increasing community count by about 20% compared to a year ago.

The company’s also continuing with its strategy of buying land, most of it in California, in preparation of an eventual turnaround in the housing market.

It approved $122 million worth of land deals in the quarter, and closed on $87 million worth of deals.

Standard Pacific has $620 million of cash to fund operations and buy more land, according to chief executive Ken Campbell.

“We believe we have ample liquidity to navigate through the market downturn,” Campbell said.

Shares in the company were unmoved following the earnings announcement. Standard Pacific counts a market value of about $740 million.