Costlier lumber, supply chain snags weigh on Lennar profit; shares slump

Lennar Corp (LEN.N) missed estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday as pandemic-led supply chain issues pushed lumber costs higher and delayed house deliveries, sending shares of the No. 2 U.S. homebuilder down around 8% in extended trading.

Shortages of raw materials and labor have weighed on operations for U.S. homebuilders, forcing several of them to limit orders even as demand for new homes stays strong in a tight market.

Lennar’s backlogs at the end of the fourth quarter rose to 23,771 from 18,821 a year ago.

“Our cycle time expanded about two weeks from the third quarter, driven by rapidly changing supply chain issues,” Co-Chief Executive Officer Jon Jaffe said in a statement.

Lennar’s orders, an indicator of future revenue, rose 2.1% to 15,539 homes in the fourth quarter, while deliveries increased to 17,819 units from 16,090 units.

The company expects to deliver about 67,000 homes in fiscal 2022, higher than 59,825 delivered a year earlier. Its gross margin forecast of 27.0% to 27.5% on home sales for this period, however, is lower than 28.0% in the reported quarter.

Net earnings attributable to Lennar rose about 35% to $1.19 billion, or $3.91 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30. Analysts on average expected $4.15 per share, according to Refinitiv data.

Total revenue rose to $8.43 billion, above Wall Street expectations.