Real Money Stock of the Day Lennar (LEN) - Get Report posted modestly weaker-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday as slow housing starts hit the second-largest U.S. homebuilder's bottom line even as mortgage rates eased.
Lennar said earnings for the three months ending in February, the company's fiscal first quarter, came in at 74 cents a share, up 39.6% from the same period last year but 1 cent shy of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Lennar said, rose 31% to $3.9 billion but fell shy of analysts' forecasts of $4.11 billion.
New home orders rose 24% to to $4.2 billion, Lennar said, while deliveries over the three month period jumped 30% from last year to 8,820 units. The group's backlog, however, slipped 2% to 17.259 units.
"We continued to see choppiness in the marketplace during our first quarter, consistent with what we highlighted on our fourth quarter conference call," said CEO Stuart Miller. "However, during the quarter, mortgage interest rates subsided and ultimately pulled back and home prices moderated providing a catalyst for the new home market to correct itself."