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Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) is slated to release its first quarter 2012 results before the opening bell on March 27, 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter projects a loss of 5 cents (year-over-year improvement of 189.74%) on revenues of $698 million.

Fourth Quarter Recap

Lennar reported earnings of 16 cents per share in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 compared with 17 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Total revenue increased 11% year over year to $952.7 million, mainly driven by a 13% rise in housing revenues to $816.5 million. The improvement in housing revenues reflected 1% increase in the average selling price of homes delivered offset by a 1% decrease in the number of home deliveries, excluding unconsolidated entities.

The company also experienced a backlog in new orders and sales which increased 20% and 35%, respectively, from the prior-year quarter.

Agreement of Estimate Revisions

Over the past 7 days, all the 13 analysts covering Lennar have left their earnings estimates for the first quarter of 2012 unchanged. However, the estimate dropped by one cent in the last 60 days.

However, over the last 30 days, one analyst revised the earnings estimate for 2012 upward, driving the Zacks Consensus Estimate up by a penny to 5 cents.

Surprise History

Lennar has surpassed earnings estimates in only one out of the last four quarters. The earnings surprise range from a low of a negative 5.88% to a high of 75.00% with the average earnings surprise being 34.56%.

Our Recommendation

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Lennar. The stock carries a Zacks #3 Rank (a short-term ‘Neutral rating).

Source: Lennar Earnings Preview