Friday, October 10, 2008

Centex Suspends Cash Dividends - A week after selling Insurance Agency

Dallas-based homebuilder Centex Corp. said Thursday that it is suspending its cash stock dividend because of deteriorating economic conditions.

The company said that during the last four quarters it has paid about $20 million in dividends.

On Thursday, Centex’s stock closed at down 14 percent for the day at $10.17 – a new low for the year.

Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday downgraded of Centex’s debt ratings.

Just Last Week Dallas-based homebuilder Centex Corp. said Wednesday that it has sold an insurance subsidiary. Centex said it sold its Westwood Insurance Agency to ZC Sterling of Atlanta for $55 million in cash and other undisclosed terms.
The transaction closed on Sept. 30. Westwood is a California-based firm which provides insurance to homebuilder customers. Under terms of the sale agreement, Westwood will continue to provide insurance services to Centex customers, the companies said.

The Westwood transaction is the latest in a series of sales by Centex which is focusing on its core building business. The big builder lost $150 million in the quarter ended June 30.

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