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Lennar third-quarter earnings fell, but stocks rise on positive results

Posted: September 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Lennar Corp. reported Monday that its third-quarter net earnings fell to $20.7 million, compared with $38.1 million in the same period in 2010.  Year-to-year shares fell 31 percent to 11 cents per share from 16 cents a year ago.

Despite lower profits, the company’s stock price gained ground by the end of the trading day as the home builder beat analysts’ third-quarter forecasts.

Wall Street analysts estimated revenues of $794.4 million, but the company delivered $820.2 million, only 1 percent less from third quarter 2010.

Orders on new homes for the Miami-based home builder are up 11 percent from a year ago and the average sales prices on homes rose 3 percent, as well.

“Our new orders were up 11 percent year-over-year, representing the first quarterly increase in over five years, excluding the first half of 2010 ,which had a positive impact from the Federal home buyer tax credit,” said Stuart Miller, CEO of Lennar.

The company’s operating margin on home sales improved from second quarter 2011.

The third largest builder in terms of revenue, Lennar owns 15 percent of Newhall Land and is currently building homes in seven communities in Valencia. This is the sixth consecutive quarter of profitability for the home builder.

“Our strong balance sheet positions us well to capitalize on opportunities and assuming market conditions remain stable, we expect to be profitable again in the fourth quarter and for the year,”  Miller said.

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