MIAMI, FL -- Lennar Corporation, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, reported fourth quarter net earnings attributable to Lennar of $164.1 million, which includes a $94.0 million tax provision, compared to $124.3 million, which includes an $18.6 million tax benefit, in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Revenues from home sales increased 50% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $1.7 billion from $1.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Revenues were higher primarily due to a 27% increase in the number of home deliveries, excluding unconsolidated entities, and an 18% increase in the average sales price of homes delivered. New home deliveries, excluding unconsolidated entities, increased to 5,639 homes in the fourth quarter of 2013 from 4,426 homes in the fourth quarter of 2012. There was an increase in home deliveries in all of the Company's Homebuilding segments and Homebuilding Other. The average sales price of homes delivered increased to $307,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 from $261,000 in the same period last year. Sales incentives offered to homebuyers were $20,600 per home delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013, or 6.3% as a percentage of home sales revenue, compared to $25,800 per home delivered in the same period last year, or 9.0% as a percentage of home sales revenue, and $18,700 per home delivered in the third quarter of 2013, or 6.0% as a percentage of home sales revenue.
Stuart Miller, Chief Executive Officer of Lennar Corporation, said, "Fiscal year 2013 was an excellent year for Lennar, with revenues and pretax earnings attributable to Lennar increasing 45% and 170%, respectively, from 2012. Our earnings accelerated in the fourth quarter, fueled by the strategic investments and operating initiatives of our core homebuilding business. In the fourth quarter, our gross margin increased 330 basis points to 26.8%, the second highest quarterly margin in our company history. This margin, combined with our SG&A of 9.9%, increased our operating margin to 16.9%, just shy of our prior quarterly peak record."
Mr. Miller continued, "While the political and interest rate environment and our previously initiated price increases tempered new sales orders in the fourth quarter, we were still pleased with our overall performance. New orders increased 13%, with an 18% increase in average sales price, resulting in a 34% increase in the dollar value of new sales orders over 2012. We ended the quarter with a strong sales backlog, up 19% in homes and 40% in dollar value, which gives us a great start for FY 2014."
"In the fourth quarter, we also had a solid performance from our other business segments. Our Financial Services segment produced $17.0 million of earnings, notwithstanding a significant slowdown in the refinance business. Rialto generated $13.9 million of earnings, benefiting from the successful launch of our new mortgage conduit business and a transition from a capital-intensive business model to an asset light, fund model. We have now closed our second investment fund, exceeding our expectations, with $1.3 billion raised."
"Our Multifamily rental business continued to grow and we ended the quarter with 11 communities under construction and one completed, fully-leased community. In addition, we have a development pipeline of approximately $3.7 billion that we expect to build out and lease over the next four years. Finally, our FivePoint Communities couldn't be better positioned, managing the entitlement and development of some of the most desirable real estate assets in Southern and Northern California. The fourth quarter marked the grand opening of the Great Park Neighborhoods, formerly the site of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, with tremendous market demand."
Mr. Miller concluded, "We begin 2014 with a strong balance sheet and a clearly defined strategy, and we are extremely well positioned across all of our platforms to continue to grow profitably our operations and capitalize on the opportunities of a recovering housing market and economy."