Lennar (NYSE:LEN) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

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Lennar (NYSE:LEN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. They presently have a $43.00 price objective on the construction company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 1.63% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Lennar’s shares have outperformed the industry in the year-to-date period. The trend is expected to continue, as it ended first-quarter fiscal 2020 on a strong note. Lennar’s fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenues topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 53% and 2.9%, respectively. The metrics also grew 71.6% and 16.5% in the quarter, respectively, aided by higher deliveries and continued operating leverage on the back of technological efforts. Margins also improved from a year ago, which was attributed to its efforts toward reducing construction costs. However, the coronavirus outbreak is expected to put pressure on customer traffic in the near future. Lennar has suspended its previously provided fiscal 2020 guidance. Estimates have moved south in the past seven days, depicting analysts’ concern surrounding the stock.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group began coverage on shares of Lennar in a research note on Friday, December 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $71.00 target price on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Lennar from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $38.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, March 18th. Cfra lowered their target price on shares of Lennar from $65.00 to $40.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 19th. BTIG Research decreased their price target on shares of Lennar from to in a research note on Friday, March 20th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares raised shares of Lennar from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $65.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Monday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lennar currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.94.

LEN traded up $1.60 during trading on Thursday, hitting $42.31. 520,970 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,011,959. The firm has a market cap of $11.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.73, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.69 and a beta of 0.98. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $58.77 and its 200 day moving average is $58.87. The company has a quick ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 14.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49. Lennar has a one year low of $25.42 and a one year high of $71.38.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 19th. The construction company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.43. Lennar had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 12.88%. The firm had revenue of $4.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.13 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.74 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 16.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Lennar will post 5.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Scott D. Stowell sold 300,000 shares of Lennar stock in a transaction on Friday, January 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.20, for a total value of $20,160,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 201,978 shares in the company, valued at $13,572,921.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Diane J. Bessette sold 10,000 shares of Lennar stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.92, for a total transaction of $589,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 253,773 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,952,305.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 360,000 shares of company stock worth $23,840,200. 8.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in LEN. Boston Partners bought a new stake in shares of Lennar during the 3rd quarter valued at $368,986,000. Hexavest Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Lennar during the 4th quarter valued at $41,152,000. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Lennar by 2,462.1% during the 4th quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 714,705 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $39,873,000 after buying an additional 686,810 shares in the last quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC bought a new stake in shares of Lennar during the 4th quarter valued at $34,341,000. Finally, Owl Creek Asset Management L.P. bought a new stake in shares of Lennar during the 3rd quarter valued at $32,164,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.14% of the company’s stock.

About Lennar

Lennar Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a homebuilder primarily under the Lennar brand in the United States. It operates through Homebuilding East, Homebuilding Central, Homebuilding Texas, Homebuilding West, Lennar Financial Services, Lennar Multifamily, and Rialto segments. The company's homebuilding operations include the construction and sale of single-family attached and detached homes, as well as the purchase, development, and sale of residential land.

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