Lennar Corp. 4Q earnings down 5.5%, revenue up 11%
Lennar Corp.'s (LEN) fourth-quarter earnings fell 5.5%, despite an 11% rise in revenue. The Miami-based homebuilder earned $30.3 million, or 16 cents a share, for the three months ended Nov. 30, down from $32 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. Fourth-quarter revenue climbed to $952.7 million from $860.1 million, as deliveries increased 9% to 3,375 homes and new orders rose 20% from a year earlier to 3,027 homes. CEO Stuart Miller said the company's has been profitable for seven-straight quarter and increased investment in new higher-margin communities helped produce a 21.6% gross margin, excluding valuation adjustments, during the quarter. "We have seen the market start to stabilize, driven by a combination of low home prices and low interest rates, making the decision to purchase a new home more attractive, compared to the heated rental market," according to Miller. Lennar reported a cancellation rate of 20% for the fourth quarter. Operating earnings for the company's Rialto Investments fell to $6 million from $25.1 million for the year-ago fourth quarter, attributable to a decline in earnings from noncontrolling interests. For the fiscal year ended Nov. 30, the company earned $92.2 million, or 48 cents a share, down from $95.3 million, or 51 cents a share, in 2010. Revenue for the year rose to nearly $3.1 billion from $3.07 billion for fiscal 2010. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw.