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Lennar reports record $514m loss

Lennar has been lowering prices and offering higher incentives to cut inventory, but that has led to slimmer profits. Lennar has been lowering prices and offering higher incentives to cut inventory, but that has led to slimmer profits. (LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS/FILE 2007)

MIAMI - Tough times in the national housing market led to a company record loss of $513.9 million for Lennar Corp. in the third quarter, with drops in sales prices and home deliveries compounded by heavy charges to write down land values.

Its shares fell almost 4 percent.

Lennar, one of the nation's largest home builders, said it has cut its workforce 35 percent this year and expects to pare more employees soon.

It was the biggest quarterly loss in the 53-year history of Lennar.

Losses for the quarter ended Aug. 31 amounted to $3.25 per share, compared with profit of $206.7 million, or $1.30 per share, in the 2006 period. The results included a charge of $3.33 per share related to valuation adjustments and writing off land option deposits, among other items.

Revenue fell 44 percent to $2.34 billion.

The average sales price of Lennar homes delivered sank to $296,000 from $316,000 in the same period last year, mainly due to higher sales incentives.

New home orders were down 48 percent to 5,804 homes, with a cancellation rate of 32 percent.

(Correction: Because of an editing error, a headline on a story about home builder Lennar Corp. in yesterday's Business section incorrectly stated the company's quarterly loss. The amount should have been $514 million.)

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