Industry News

Lennar Corp. to cut home production by 20%

Builder lost $200 million in final quarter of '06

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Home builder Lennar Corp. lost nearly $200 million in the fourth quarter of 2006, but said it will boost earnings this year by cutting expenses and slowing the pace of home building by 20 percent. Lennar's fourth-quarter losses of $195.6 million, or $1.24 per share, compares with $581.2 million in profits in the same quarter of 2005. Earnings for the year ending Nov. 30 totaled $593.9 million, or $3.69 per share, down 56 percent from $1.34 billion in 2005. President and Chief Executive Officer Stuart Miller said uncertain market conditions "make it difficult to provide a 2007 earnings goal" but that if unemployment and interest rates stay low -- and the market for new homes "demonstrates traditional, seasonal improvement" -- Lennar will meet or exceed last year's earnings. Revenue from home sales was down 14 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to $4 billion, the company said, largely due to a 4 percent decrease in the number of homes sold and an 11 percent decrease in the avera...