TAYLOR, MI — According to Marketwatch.com, Masco Corp. posted a narrower 4Q loss on fewer write-downs and a higher profit margin as the company continued to suffer from the weak housing market. The home-improvement and building-products company posted a net loss of $151 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $187 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier.  Sales at Masco, which makes KraftMaid kitchen cabinets and Delta faucets, fell 7.9% to $2.7 billion.

Looking forward, the company says it expects slower housing starts and continued softness in sales of existing homes, as well as a further decline in consumer spending. The company forecasts 2008 per-share earnings of 85 cents to $1.15 and a sales decline in the high-single to low double digits, well below analysts estimates of $1.63 a share, with sales falling 4%. 

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