Lennar Keeps Homebuilder Euphoria in Place for Now

The housing market still has a long road ahead before a full recovery is made from the financial meltdown, but homebuilders continue to enjoy low interest rates and inventory levels.

Lennar Corp. (NYSE:LEN) reported impressive financial results for its fiscal first quarter. Net income came in at $57.5 million (26 cents per share), compared to only $15 million (8 cents per share) a year earlier. Revenue also jumped 37 percent to $989.9 million, compared to $724.9 million in the same quarter last year.

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The nation’s third-largest homebuilder also improved its gross margin by 120 basis points to 22.1 percent, while operating margin on home sales increased 410 basis points to reach 10.1 percent.

“Our first quarter results clearly reflect continued improvement in the marketplace,” said Stuart Miller, chief executive officer. “Current market conditions are driven by strong demand resulting from low interest rates and attractive home prices, which have led to very affordable monthly payments, compared to increasing rental rates. Supply continues to be limited by low home inventories and fewer competing homebuilders.”