Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc reported a smaller quarterly loss, helped by a federal tax credit designed to spur demand for housing.

The loss narrowed to $40.4 million, or 24 cents per share, in the second quarter ended on April 30 from $83.2 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 23 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue fell 22 percent to $311.3 million, compared with analysts' estimates of $321.9 million. The company attributed the decline to a low fiscal 2009 backlog.

However, backlog in the second quarter rose 5 percent to $993.5 million, with a unit increase of 10 percent to 1,738 units, the company said in a statement.

Despite a tentative housing recovery supported by such government initiatives as the tax credit, Toll has not made a profit in recent quarters, unlike rivals such as D.R. Horton Inc and Lennar Corp .

However, Toll benefits less directly from the tax credit, used primarily by first-time home buyers, because as a luxury builder most of its clients are trading up. The credit helps Toll by enabling trade-up buyers to sell their own homes.

The company also expects to deliver between 2,200 and 2,750 homes in fiscal 2010.

Toll Brothers expects the average delivered price for the next two quarters to be between $540,000 and $560,000 per home.

(Reporting by Shrutika Verma in Bangalore; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Derek Caney)