Lennar Earnings: Horrible, But Better Than Wall Street Expected

Lennar Corp (NYSE:LEN) posted weak earnings for the third quarter, with earnings falling 31%. The homebuilder has been facing heavy headwinds in its core home-building operations, a fall-out of the great housing recession in the U.S.. With reported sales of new homes being very weak — at their lowest in five months — Lennar’s results are not surprising. Regardless, Wall Street cheered the developments.

The quarterly profit reported was $20.7 million, down from $30 million a year earlier. Total revenue at $820.2 million was down 0.6%. Gross margin was unchanged at 21.1%, though orders rose 11%. Deliveries, however, slipped 2.9%.

On an encouraging front, backlog was up 16%, which is great for future business. Lennar (NYSE:LEN) sought to mitigate troubles in the housing business by setting up its Rialto investments division, which has been a plus factor in its results. The revenue from this division improved 11%.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) is trading at $14.47 today, up 4.86%. Shares are down 8.85 in the past 52 weeks. The stock trades in a 52 week range between $12.39 and $21.54.

Competitors to Watch: PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE:PHM), KB Home (NYSE:KBH), D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI), Standard Pacific Corp. (NYSE:SPF), Meritage Homes Corporation (NYSE:MTH), Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE:TOL), M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:MDC), Orleans Homebuilders (OHBIQ), The Ryland Group, Inc. (NYSE:RYL), and Comstock Homebuilding Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHCI).

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