Reuters

(Reuters)

Lennar Posts Delivery Gains, Pointing to Rebounding Housing Market

Industries Dow Jones Newswires

Home builder Lennar continued to log another quarter of double-digit percentage gains in key metrics, pointing to a recovery in the U.S. home market. 

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The company's earnings and revenue also beat analysts' marks. 

On Friday, Chief Executive Stuart Miller said "the housing market is continuing its slow and steady recovery driven by years of under production, tight inventory levels, attractive interest rates and the lowest unemployment levels since 2008." 

Miami-based Lennar, one of the largest U.S. home builders by houses constructed, said the number of deliveries rose 12% for the first quarter from a year earlier. The company's results were hurt by its Houston segment which has faced continually low energy prices in recent quarters. Other than Houston, all of Lennar's segments posted delivery gains and overall growth being driven by the central and west markets. 

The average price of a delivered home increased 26% to $366,000, reaching a record high. 

The number of new orders increased 9.6% while backlogs increased 13%. 

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Lennar reported a profit for the three months ended Feb. 29 of $144.1 million, or 63 cents a share, up from $115 million, or 50 cents a share, a year prior. Revenue grew 21% to $1.99 billion. 

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters projected 52 cents in per-share profit on $1.86 billion in revenue. 

Shares in the company, down 5.9% in the past three months, were inactive in premarket trading. 

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com