Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lennar (NYSE:LEN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning. They currently have $68.00 target price on the construction company’s stock.
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.”
Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on LEN. ValuEngine lowered Lennar from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, February 28th. Wedbush set a $60.00 target price on Lennar and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $65.00 target price (up from $57.00) on shares of Lennar in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Evercore ISI raised Lennar from an in-line rating to an outperform rating in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $78.00 target price on shares of Lennar in a report on Thursday, January 11th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Lennar presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $67.93.
Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, January 10th. The construction company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.50 by ($0.21). The business had revenue of $3.79 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.59 billion. Lennar had a net margin of 6.41% and a return on equity of 12.00%. The business’s revenue was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Lennar will post 5.29 EPS for the current year.
In other Lennar news, CFO Bruce E. Gross sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, January 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.00, for a total transaction of $72,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 356,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,635,096. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Bruce E. Gross sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $69.43, for a total value of $347,150.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 361,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $25,067,215.49. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 175,000 shares of company stock valued at $12,092,050. 8.50% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in Lennar by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 64,639 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $4,088,000 after purchasing an additional 1,167 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB grew its holdings in Lennar by 13.2% during the fourth quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 19,915 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $1,259,000 after purchasing an additional 2,325 shares during the period. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp grew its holdings in Lennar by 10.4% during the fourth quarter. BRITISH COLUMBIA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 85,221 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $5,389,000 after purchasing an additional 8,036 shares during the period. Banco de Sabadell S.A bought a new position in Lennar during the fourth quarter valued at $940,000. Finally, Family Management Corp bought a new position in Lennar during the fourth quarter valued at $2,508,000. 88.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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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