Lennar (LEN) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Lennar (NYSE:LEN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “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 has agreed to take over CalAtlantic Group in a deal worth $9.3 billion. 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 the first nine months of 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. Also, Lennar shares have underperformed its industry so far this year. Earnings estimates for the fourth quarter and the fiscal 2017 have remained stable, in the past 30 days, limiting upside potential for the stock.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on LEN. JMP Securities raised shares of Lennar from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Monday, November 6th. MKM Partners reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Lennar in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Mizuho reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Lennar in a report on Friday, October 27th. BTIG Research upped their target price on shares of Lennar from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Wedbush reaffirmed a neutral rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Lennar in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $57.93.

Lennar (LEN) traded down $0.25 on Tuesday, hitting $61.43. 2,616,400 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,460,143. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 7.76 and a quick ratio of 0.59. Lennar has a 1 year low of $42.23 and a 1 year high of $63.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $14,510.84, a PE ratio of 15.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.25 and a beta of 1.35.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 3rd. The construction company reported $1.06 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.05. Lennar had a net margin of 6.65% and a return on equity of 12.37%. The firm had revenue of $3.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.25 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.01 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 15.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Lennar will post 4.04 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Lennar news, CFO Bruce E. Gross sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total value of $300,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 371,043 shares in the company, valued at $22,262,580. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 12.18% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of LEN. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its position in shares of Lennar by 8.9% in the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,895 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 155 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its position in shares of Lennar by 32.4% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 2,168 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $114,000 after purchasing an additional 530 shares during the period. QS Investors LLC boosted its position in shares of Lennar by 1.0% in the second quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 2,541 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $135,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares during the period. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp boosted its position in shares of Lennar by 7.3% in the second quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 3,250 shares of the construction company’s stock worth $173,000 after purchasing an additional 220 shares during the period. Finally, Chartist Inc. CA bought a new position in shares of Lennar in the second quarter worth approximately $200,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.34% of the company’s stock.

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About Lennar

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Lennar (NYSE:LEN)

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