Lennar Corp. (LEN) Stock up +2 Percent on Strong First Quarter Results
Shares of Lennar Corporation (LEN) were up +0.97 or +1.95 percent to $50.69 per share in this morning's premarket after the company reported better than expected earnings for its first fiscal quarter. Lennar Corporation stock closed at $49.72, up +0.86 or +1.76 percent in Wednesday's regular trading session.
For the company's first fiscal quarter of 2015 ended on February 28th, Lennar Corp. reported net earnings of $115 million, or $0.50 per diluted share. This compares to 2014 first quarter net earnings of $78.1 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, an increase of +47 percent. Revenue for the quarter came to +$1.6 billion, up +21 percent. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $0.45 per share on revenue of $1.5 billion.
Lennar Corp. attributed the better than expected first quarter results on the continuing economic recovery and improved housing market. Lennar Corp.'s Chief Executive Officer Stuart Miller said that, "Despite severe weather conditions which constrained production and sales in parts of the country, the housing market continued its slow and steady recovery. Early signals from this year's spring selling season indicate that the housing market is improving.
Mr. Miller also said that the company would benefit from improved employment conditions, lower gasoline prices and low interest rates. He concluded his comments saying that, "While our homebuilding business continues to be the primary driver of our quarterly earnings, we are in an excellent position across all of our platforms and anticipate that our ancillary businesses will further define themselves this year.
Other highlights for the firm were deliveries of 4,302 homes, up +19 percent from last year, new orders for 5,287 new homes, up +18 percent, with a dollar value of $1.8 billion, a +25 percent increase. In addition, the company's backlog grew to 6,817 homes, an increase of +20 percent, with a backlog value of $2.4 billion, up +24 percent. The price of the average home sold in the first quarter increased +3 percent to $326,000. Lennar Corp. also hiked its average sales incentive to $21,800, up +2.4 percent for each home sold in the first quarter.
Lennar stock is up about 10 percent so far this year. The stock hit a low of 35.74 in August of last year and made its yearly high of $51.51 late last month. The better than expected first quarter earnings are being favorably received by investors in this morning's premarket and could drive the stock to test its yearly high.
Other News About LEN
Massive Lennar development near Tesla plant and BART station wins Fremont City Council's approval
Plans approved for a 2,200 housing unit and 1.4 million square feet of commercial space development.
Lennar sells out Shipyard homes - but will tech companies show same appetite at Hunters Point?
Company sells out its 88 townhouse waterfront development in San Francisco.
Other Stocks in the News
Is Richard Branson Gearing Up to Take on Tesla?
Branson was in Miami for an all electric Formula E race in which his Virgin Racing team was competing.
Hewlett-Packard raises dividend by 10% to 17.6 cents a share
New dividend will be payable on April 1st to shareholder of record March 11th.