Lennar (LEN - Get Report), the homebuilder, reported a profit of 16 cents a share in the fourth quarter, missing by a penny the average estimate of analysts, but topped analysts' views for revenue. The company said revenue jumped 11% from last year to $952.7 million, beating analysts' estimates of $914 million, according to Thomson Reuters. A year earlier, Lennar earned 17 cents a share on revenue of $860.1 million. The company also reported that new orders rose 20% to 3,027 homes, while the Miami-based company's backlog, an indication of future business, grew 35% to 2,171 homes. Gross margin on home sales also improved, rising to 19.4% from 17.7% a year earlier. Lennar shares were falling 0.2% to $20.71 in early trading.
Dell (DELL) intends to enter the crowded tablet computer market with its first consumer device late this year, Chief Commercial Officer Steve Felice said, Reuters reported. The Texas-based company plans a push into the tablet market, after delaying entry to learn from competitors that tried to square-off against the Apple (AAPL) iPad, in an effort to combat its steadily dropping rank in global PC sales. "When you are talking about PC, people are more focused on the hardware itself. When you are talking about the tablet or the smartphone, people are interested in the overall environment its operating in. As we have matured in this, we are spending a lot more time in the overall ecosystem," Felice said. While Dell has not yet chosen an operating system for its consumer tablet, both Microsoft's (MSFT - Get Report) upcoming Windows 8 and Google's (GOOG) OS are options, Felice said. Dell shares were down 0.1% to $15.81 in premarket trading.