Homebuilder Lennar's first-quarter results are boosted by strong demand

New homes for sale by Lennar home builders.
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New homes for sale by Lennar home builders.

U.S. homebuilder Lennar reported on Wednesday higher first-quarter revenue and profit as it sold more homes at higher prices and benefited from its acquisition of smaller rival CalAtlantic.

The company's shares were up 2.2 percent at $58.34 in premarket trading.

Orders, a key indicator of future revenue for homebuilders, rose 30.4 percent to 8,456 homes in the quarter.

The Miami-based builder said it sold 6,765 homes, during the quarter, compared with 5,453 homes last year. The average sales price rose 7.7 percent to $393,000.

Housing in the United States is benefiting from a strong economy and an improving job market, but house builders have been battling higher raw material costs and a shortage of labor.

Net income attributable to Lennar shareholders rose to $136.2 million, or 53 cents per share, in the quarter ended Feb. 28, from $38.1 million, or 16 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.11 a share.

Revenue rose to $2.98 billion from $2.34 billion.