Lennar Trading at 52-Week High After Q1 Report
Homebuilder Lennar (NYSE: LEN) released its fiscal Q1 earnings results on Tuesday prior to the opening bell. The company reported net earnings attributable to shareholders of $14.97 million or $0.08 per share, versus $27.41 million or $0.14 per share, in the year ago period. The year ago results included a $37.5 million or $0.19 per share gain from the receipt of a non-recurring litigation settlement. The results compared to Wall Street consensus EPS estimates of $0.04.
Total revenues for the quarter were up 30 percent to $724.86 million compared to $558.04 million in last year's corresponding quarter. This also easily exceeded Wall Street estimates of $699.38 million.
The impressive results were driven primarily by an increase in home deliveries, higher selling prices and tight cost controls, according to the company. Average sales prices increased 3 percent in the quarter and deliveries were up 29 percent to 2,482 homes.
Lennar said that new orders grew 33 percent to 3,022 homes with a value of $763.33 million. The company also said that its backlog as of February 29 was 2,711 homes, or $711.39 million in value which is a 39 percent increase over the prior year period.
Lennar also said that gross margin on home sales was up 90 basis points to 20.9 percent and operating margin improved 240 basis points to 6 percent.
Stuart Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Lennar Corporation, said, "We are pleased to announce EPS of $0.08 in the first quarter, making this our eighth consecutive quarter of profitability. We were profitable in each of our business segments and recorded our strongest first quarter homebuilding operating margins in six years."
During Tuesday's trading session, LEN shares are trading up 5.68% to $27.89, a new 52-week high in the stock. Over the last year, LEN shares have risen 40% and over the last 3 months the stock is up nearly 45%.
The fiscal first quarter results at Lennar contrasted with earnings released by KB Home (NYSE: KBH) on March 23. On Friday, KBH shares lost 11% and fell another 6.50% on Monday. In the wake of the bullish report from LEN, however, KBH shares have recouped some of their recent losses and were last trading up 3.22% to $9.93.
The SPDR S&P Hombuilders ETF (NYSE: XHB) has added 2% to $21.90 on Tuesday as traders and investors react to the strong earnings from Miami-based Lennar. Other names to watch in the homebuilding segment in the wake of today's report include The Ryland Group (NYSE: RYL), D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), and Meritage HOmes (NYSE: MTH).
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.