MIAMI — New orders and home deliveries continue to climb at Lennar as net income more than quadrupled in its fiscal fourth quarter partly because of a tax benefit.
The homebuilder also reported a sharp rise in its order backlog, a sign of potential future housing revenue.
Its shares edged up 21 cents to $41.23 in premarket trading Tuesday.
Miami-based Lennar sells homes for entry level and move-up buyers as well as retirees.
Lennar CEO Stuart Miller said in a statement that the housing recovery continues to move forward and should continue to move into its traditional role in the economic recovery — helping to supply jobs and boost consumer confidence.
Homebuilders are a bellwether for the housing market and the economy. While new homes represent less than one-fifth of the total housing market, construction of houses has a major impact on the economy.
For the three months ended Nov. 30, Lennar Corp. earned $124.3 million, or 56 cents per share. That's sharply higher than the $30.3 million, or 16 cents per share, that the company earned a year ago.
The current quarter included an $18.6 million tax benefit.
Analysts forecast earnings of 44 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.
Revenue jumped to $1.35 billion from $952.7 million, beating Wall Street's estimate of $1.26 billion.
New orders rose 32 percent to 3,983 homes, while home deliveries increased 32 percent to 4,443 homes. The average sales price of homes delivered also climbed, while sales incentives declined.
Lennar said that its backlog soared 87 percent to 4,053 homes.
For the full year, the company earned $679.1 million, or $3.11 per share. In the prior year it earned $92.2 million, or 48 cents per share. Adjusted earnings were 86 cents per share.
Annual revenue rose 32 percent to $4.1 billion from $3.1 billion.
Lennar said that new orders climbed 37 percent to 15,684 homes for the year. Home deliveries increased 27 percent to 13,802 homes.
Miller said that Lennar is well positioned to gain market share in 2013.