Lennar revenue beats on soaring home prices; shares up

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Signage is seen at The Collection at Morristown, a housing development by Lennar Corporation, in Morristown, New Jersey

-Lennar Corp beat market estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, helped by record-high property prices as demand continued to outpace supply that was hit by raw material and labor shortages.

Shares of the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder were up 1.8% at $90.10 in after market trading.

Demand for housing soared during the COVID-19 pandemic as buyers capitalized on record-low mortgage rates and remote workers sought more living space.

Lennar’s first-quarter revenue came in at $6.20 billion, ahead of analysts’ estimates of $6.08 billion. Orders, an indicator of future revenue, rose 1% to 15,747 homes in the reported quarter, while deliveries increased 2% to 12,538 units.

The company said it expects second-quarter new orders of between 17,800 and 18,200 homes, barely hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

“Both gross margin and net margin remained strong, even as materials costs and wages have increased, and home prices have continued to rise while remaining affordable even as interest rates have ticked up,” Lennar Chairman Stuart Miller said.

Net earnings attributable to the company fell to $503.6 million, or $1.69 per share, in the quarter ended Feb.28, from $1 billion, or $3.20 per share, a year earlier.

Lennar faced volatility in its LenX platform, that invests in companies that focus on homebuilding, affecting its bottom line performance for the reported quarter.

Excluding the impact from its LENx investments, the company reported a profit of $2.70 per share.

The pricing environment helped larger rival D.R. Horton post a 44.2% rise in quarterly profit last month.

Lennar’s backlogs at the end of the first quarter rose to 27,335 from 22,077 a year ago.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka and Shivansh Tiwary in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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