Lennar (LEN) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $78.00 target price on the construction company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 10.31% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Lennar missed expectations on earnings in the final quarter of fiscal 2017 after surpassing the same for seven times in a row. Lennar’s adjusted earnings of $1.29 per share in the quarter fell shy of the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 14% and decreased 1.5% from the year-ago level of $1.31. The downside was primarily due to the strategic shift of a transaction to the first quarter of fiscal 2018. Nonetheless, its total revenues of $3.79 billion beat the consensus estimate by 4.5% and increased 12% year over year, as the homebuilding, financial services and multi-family segments performed significantly well. Lennar witnessed robust market improvement, which was supported by 11% year-over-year increase in its new home orders (18% in dollars), which was above management's 7-10% target. However, rising land and labor costs pose a threat to the company’s margins. Gross margin contracted 90 bps due to higher land and construction costs per home.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. JMP Securities upgraded Lennar from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Wells Fargo & Co raised Lennar from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $74.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Mizuho reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Lennar in a research note on Friday, October 27th. BTIG Research upped their target price on Lennar from $62.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, UBS Group initiated coverage on Lennar in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $63.93.

Shares of Lennar (NYSE:LEN) traded up $1.93 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $70.71. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,398,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,788,364. Lennar has a fifty-two week low of $43.46 and a fifty-two week high of $70.83. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a current ratio of 7.76. The stock has a market capitalization of $16,390.00, a P/E ratio of 20.38, a PEG ratio of 1.03 and a beta of 1.35.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 10th. The construction company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.50 by ($0.21). Lennar had a net margin of 6.41% and a return on equity of 12.22%. The company had revenue of $3.79 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.59 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.34 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Lennar will post 5.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Lennar news, COO Jonathan M. Jaffe sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.02, for a total transaction of $1,280,400.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 99,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,337,980. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Bruce E. Gross sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 371,043 shares in the company, valued at approximately $22,262,580. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 165,000 shares of company stock worth $11,316,300. 12.18% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. D.A. Davidson & CO. boosted its position in Lennar by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 1,895 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $101,000 after acquiring an additional 155 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its position in Lennar by 32.4% during the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 2,168 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $114,000 after acquiring an additional 530 shares in the last quarter. QS Investors LLC boosted its position in Lennar by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. QS Investors LLC now owns 2,541 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $135,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Chartist Inc. CA bought a new stake in Lennar during the 2nd quarter valued at $200,000. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp bought a new stake in Lennar during the 2nd quarter valued at $224,000. 81.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Lennar (NYSE:LEN)

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