Housing prices soar and profits at Lennar follow

Markets Associated Press

Lennar's quarterly profit beat just about everyone's expectations as skyrocketing home prices led to the strongest showing of new orders for the homebuilder in a decade.

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The company had 8,898 orders for new homes, a 12 percent increase over the same period last year, helping push its fiscal second-quarter profit to $213.6 million.

On a per-share basis, the Miami company had net income of 91 cents, blowing away Wall Street expectations for 78 cents per share, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Quarterly revenue jumped 19 percent to $3.26 billion, also sailing past projections of $2.89 billion from industry analysts.

The report lifted shares across the sector and Lennar, already up 27 percent in 2017, hit a new high for the year.

The boom times have not translated into broader home ownership in the U.S., however.

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The Commerce Department reported last week that homebuilders slowed down the pace of construction for the third straight month in May, a possible sign that the shortage of houses for sale might worsen.

Homebuilders remain optimistic about their sales prospects, but the level of construction has done little to meet demand from would-be buyers. The number of existing homes listed for sale has been registering annual declines for roughly two years — creating a dearth of properties on the market.

Yet that means big payouts for construction companies.

Among the nine major U.S. homebuilders, the shares of six have hit one- or multi-year highs this month. M.D.C. Holdings, a builder based in Denver, hit a three-year high last month.

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This story was generated in part by Automated Insights using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on LEN at https://www.zacks.com/ap/LEN

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Keywords: Lennar, Earnings Report