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Lennar Unit Buys 1st Multifamily Community to Boost Presence

Zacks Equity Research

Lennar Corporation’s LEN wholly-owned subsidiary LMC has acquired Charlotte, NC-based Novel Stonewall Station, a luxury transit-oriented community located in Uptown, which is one of the most desirable rental submarkets of the city. Notably, the buyout marks LMC's first acquisition of an existing multifamily community and third transit-oriented Class A community.

The community, which is situated at 400 East Stonewall Street, features 459 luxury homes and a Whole Foods Market. The community offers convenient commuting to Interstates 77 and 277, which enable easy connectivity to the rest of the metro Charlotte area.

Markedly, its strategic move to acquire such communities will aid ongoing development efforts and expand market reach.

In fiscal second-quarter 2019, Lennar announced a strategic transaction with Level Homes, an Engquist Development in Raleigh, NC. Through this transaction, it purchased 34 under-construction and 29 developed sites, which are expected to be delivered over the next six years. In view of the asset-light land strategy, Lennar has a future right to purchase approximately 1,600 finished home sites across seven communities.

Again, the acquisition of CalAtlantic Group Inc. in February 2018 had made it one of the country’s top three homebuilders in 24 of the top 30 U.S. markets.

The company has been performing pretty well over the last few quarters. In third-quarter fiscal 2019, its earnings and revenues increased 16.1% and 3%, respectively, year over year. The upside was mainly driven by higher deliveries and continued operating leverage, backed by technological efforts. Moderate home prices and declining mortgage rates stimulated both affordability and demand, thereby enhancing the company’s performance.

Stock Performance

Shares of Lennar have gained 51.1%, outperforming its industry’s rally of 48.8% year to date. The outperformance was backed by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters, with an average positive surprise of 9.2%. Estimates for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company is trending upward over the past seven days, reflecting optimism surrounding the company’s earnings prospects.



Other Key Picks

Other top-ranked stocks in the same space include KB Home KBH, Taylor Morrison Home Corporation TMHC and Meritage Homes Corporation MTH, each sporting a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

KB Home, Taylor Morrison and Meritage Homes’ long-term earnings are expected to grow 9.3%, 8.5% and 5.4%, respectively.

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