Lennar's profit jumps 45% on strong housing demand, sending shares sharply higher

  • Lennar reported a 67.4 percent rise in second-quarter revenue.
  • Results were helped by strong housing demand amid an expanding economy and job growth.
  • Orders, an indication of future revenue for home builders, jumped 62.3 percent to 14,440 homes in the quarter.
New homes for sale by Lennar home builders.
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New homes for sale by Lennar home builders.

Lennar on Tuesday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as housing demand got a boost from a strengthening economy and job growth.

The U.S. homebuilder's shares rose 9 percent in premarket trading. Shares of rivals D.R. Horton Inc and PulteGroup Inc were also up 3 percent to 4 percent.

Lennar's orders, an indication of future revenue for homebuilders, jumped 62.3 percent to 14,440 homes in the quarter.

The Miami-based builder said it sold 12,095 homes, led by its eastern region, which includes Florida and New Jersey. The company sold 7,710 homes in the quarter last year. The average sales price rose 10.4 percent to $413,000.

The deliveries and price were also helped by the company's acquisition of smaller rival CalAtlantic last year that increased the backlog of the combined company.

Morningstar analyst Brian Bernard expects the strong backlog to fuel substantial growth for Lennar in fiscal 2018.

Concerns about rising interest rates and construction costs have been offset by low unemployment and rising wages, combined with short supply, Chief Executive Stuart Miller said in a statement.

Net income attributable to Lennar shareholders rose 45.2 percent to $310.3 million, or 94 cents per share, in the quarter ended May 31.

The company had a charge of $236.8 million related to purchase accounting, and $23.9 million in acquisition and integration costs for its CalAtlantic merger last year.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.58 per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 45 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue jumped 67.4 percent to $5.46 billion and topped analysts' estimate of $5.11 billion.