House builder Lennar Corp. said on Thursday first-quarter earnings jumped to $115 million, or 50 cents a share, from $78.1 million, or 35 cents a share, a year ago. Revenues climbed 21% to $1.64 billion. Both profit and sales were better than forecast by analysts polled by FactSet, who expected earnings of 45 cents a share on revenue of $1.51 billion. The company said deliveries of homes rose 19% in the quarter, while orders for new homes jumped 18%. "Early signals from this year's spring-selling season indicate that the housing market is improving, and disappointing single family starts and permits numbers should rebound shortly," said chief executive Stuart Miller in the earnings release.
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