Lennar Corporation, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, reported net earnings of $120.7 million in the third quarter, which includes a $67.2 million tax provision, compared to third quarter 2012 net earnings attributable to Lennar of $87.1 million.
Stuart Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Lennar Corporation, said, "We are very pleased with our quarterly results, reporting earnings per share of $0.54. During the third quarter, our gross margin percentage on home sales improved to 24.9%, while our S,G&A expenses as a percentage of home sales revenue decreased to 10.2%, driving strong operating leverage as evidenced by an operating margin percentage of 14.7%. Despite a moderating sales pace, the number of new home orders in the quarter increased 14%, with a 16% increase in average sales price, resulting in a 32% increase in the dollar value of new home orders from the prior year period. We ended the quarter with a solid backlog, with a 32% increase in the number of homes and a 53% increase in backlog dollar value. Meanwhile, our financial services business generated $23.5 million of earnings during the quarter, despite a significant slowdown of refinance business."
Mr. Miller continued, "As our core businesses continue to improve, we are equally enthusiastic about the maturing of our ancillary businesses. With $640 million of capital raised in Fund II at the end of the quarter, Rialto has continued its strategic growth toward becoming a blue-chip money manager for real estate properties, loans and securities. Our Lennar Multi-Family rental business has continued to grow its pipeline to more than $2.5 billion at quarter-end, which is expected to be completed over the next four years. In addition, our FivePoint Communities business continues to prepare to harvest some of the best land deals in California."
"We continue to see long-term fundamental demand in the market driven by the significant shortfall of new single-family and multi-family homes built over the last five years. While there may be bumps along the road that may impact the short-term pace of the recovery, the long-term outlook for our business remains extremely bright."
Revenues from home sales increased 55% in the third quarter of 2013 to $1,447.6 million from $932.8 million in the third quarter of 2012. Revenues were higher primarily due to a 37% increase in the number of home deliveries, excluding unconsolidated entities, and a 13% increase in the average sales price of homes delivered. New home deliveries, excluding unconsolidated entities, increased to 4,972 homes in the third quarter of 2013 from 3,617 homes in the third quarter of 2012. There was an increase in home deliveries in all of the Company's Homebuilding segments.
The average sales price of homes delivered increased to $291,000 in the third quarter of 2013 from $258,000 in the same period last year. Sales incentives offered to homebuyers were $18,700 per home delivered in the third quarter of 2013, or 6.0% as a percentage of home sales revenue, compared to $26,100 per home delivered in the same period last year, or 9.2% as a percentage of home sales revenue, and $20,200 per home delivered in the second quarter of 2013, or 6.7% as a percentage of home sales revenue.