Amid signs of a stabilizing home market, Miami-based home builder Lennar reported fourth-quarter sales of $952.7 million, up 11% from the year-ago quarter. Net earnings for the quarter were down slightly from $32.0 million to $30.3 million.
For the full year, revenues were up 1% to $3.1 billion, as net earnings of $92.2 million slipped from $95.3 million.
"As we come to the end of 2011 and head into 2012, we have seen the market start to stabilize, driven by a combination of low home prices and low interest rates, making the decision to purchase a new home more attractive, compared with the heated rental market. These factors are reflected in our new orders and sales backlog, which increased 20% and 35%, respectively, from the prior-year quarter."
In the fourth quarter, deliveries were 3,375 homes, up 9%. New orders were 3,027 homes, up 20%. However, the cancellation rate was 20%, and the backlog of 2,171 homes was up 35%.
Lennar received 11,412 new orders in fiscal 2011, up 4% from the previous year.