Pulte Homes Inc

on Wednesday posted a third-quarter loss that disappointed analysts, but affirmed the consensus that the home-building industry was slowly stabilizing, sending shares up slightly in premarket trading.

Pulte, which after buying rival Centex Corp in August has operations in 29 states, reported a loss of $1.15 per share, or $361.4 million, missing analysts' predictions of a 69 cent-per-share loss, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company did not adjust its prior year results to reflect the merger.

Pulte retired $1.7 billion of outstanding debt in the quarter, more than Fox-Pitt analyst Robert Stevenson had expected.

These results are not horrific, but some investors were expecting the worst, Stevenson said.

Still, conditions continue to challenge the housing industry in the form of broad economic weakness, foreclosures and rising unemployment despite some signs of stabilization, Chief Executive Richard Dugas said in a statement.

The Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based company reported that it was not in compliance with a credit facility covenant as of September 30, but its banks granted it a waiver until December 15. In the event that the company cannot reach a new agreement or extend the waiver, it has enough cash to terminate the facility, it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Helen Chernikoff, Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)