Pulte Homes Inc

, the biggest U.S. homebuilder, reported a smaller fourth-quarter net loss on Tuesday, helped by tax benefits, but missed analyst estimates.

Its net loss narrowed to $116.9 million, or 31 cents per share, from $338.2 million, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had been looking for a loss of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $1.7 billion.

The latest results include one-time charges of $925 million, partially offset by $800 million in income tax benefits related to the extension of a federal law that allows companies to apply losses to prior income.

Excluding one-time items, Pulte said it operated at roughly breakeven for the quarter.

Orders more than doubled to 3,748 homes, and closings rose 13 percent to 6,200 homes. But the average selling price fell 7 percent to $258,000.

Pulte, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has operations in 29 states. It became the biggest builder in the United States by acquiring rival Centex Corp, knocking D.R. Horton Inc out of the No. 1 spot.

(Reporting by Helen Chernikoff; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)