Lennar (NYSE:LEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.
According to Zacks, “Lennar’s shares have outperformed its industry in the last six months. Again, earnings estimates for the current year have moved upward by 0.8%, in the past 30 days. Lennar is one of the best-positioned homebuilders to capitalize on the housing recovery, courtesy of the diverse revenue mix, steady top-line performance, above-average order growth and improving SG&A leverage. Moreover, Lennar recently acquired CalAtlantic in a deal worth $9.3 billion creating the nation’s largest homebuilder. The combined entity will have a footprint touching approximately 50% of the U.S. population and is expected to generate meaningful cost savings. However, labor shortage along with rising land and labor costs pose a threat to the company’s margins. In fiscal 2017, Lennar’s gross margin on home sales decreased 90 bps year over year, due to an increase in construction and land costs per home.”
Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $65.00 price objective (up previously from $57.00) on shares of Lennar in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $77.00 price objective on shares of Lennar in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Lennar from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Lennar from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Mizuho upgraded shares of Lennar from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $67.93.
Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 10th. The construction company reported $1.29 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.50 by ($0.21). Lennar had a net margin of 6.41% and a return on equity of 12.00%. The business had revenue of $3.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.59 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.34 EPS. Lennar’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts anticipate that Lennar will post 5.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, COO Jonathan M. Jaffe sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.02, for a total value of $1,280,400.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 99,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,337,980. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CFO Bruce E. Gross sold 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.00, for a total transaction of $648,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 346,043 shares in the company, valued at approximately $24,915,096. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 175,000 shares of company stock worth $12,092,050 in the last ninety days. 8.50% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Lennar by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 64,639 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $4,088,000 after buying an additional 1,167 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its stake in Lennar by 13.2% in the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 19,915 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $1,259,000 after buying an additional 2,325 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp increased its stake in Lennar by 10.4% in the 4th quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 85,221 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $5,389,000 after buying an additional 8,036 shares during the period. Banco de Sabadell S.A purchased a new position in Lennar in the 4th quarter worth about $940,000. Finally, Family Management Corp purchased a new position in Lennar in the 4th quarter worth about $2,508,000. 88.76% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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Lennar Company Profile
Lennar Corporation is a provider of real estate related financial services, commercial real estate, investment management and finance company. The Company is a homebuilder that operates in various states. Its segments include Homebuilding East, Homebuilding Central, Homebuilding West, Lennar Financial Services, Rialto and Lennar Multifamily.
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