Lennar Corp. (LEN), one of the largest homebuilders in the U.S., earned $32 million, or $0.17 per diluted share in the fourth quarter, the third straight period of gains. Earnings were down from $35.6 million from the fourth quarter of last year, but for all of 2010, Lennar earned $95.3 million, compared to a net loss of $417.1 million the year before. Lennar CEO Stuart Miller said the company continued to contract for new and "high-margin" communities even though new orders of homes were down 5% from a year ago to just under 11,000 units. During the fourth quarter, Lennar completed the acquisition of roughly $740 million in distressed real estate from three large financial institutions at a significant discount. It will also continue purchases through its Rialto real estate investment fund, which has equity commitments of roughly $300 million, including $75 million from Lennar. "Although high unemployment, tight lending standards and low consumer confidence continue to present challenges for the housing industry, we are confident that 2011 will be another profitable year," Miller said. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter: @JonAPrior