Mentioned in today's WSJ:
"Hovnanian took advantage of the rising value of its common stock, which has nearly doubled in value since January, to reduce its debt load by issuing in the past two weeks 1.5 million class-A shares to bondholders in exchange for $6 million in debt.
By issuing stock now, builders are outrunning any potential weakness in the market that could result from rising unemployment, elections in November and problems in Europe.
For other builders, land plays a role, but there are other factors involved. Beazer and Hovnanian, for example, are saddled with heavy debt loads and are working to repair their balance sheets."