Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Lennar (NYSE:LEN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $81.00 price target on the construction company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Lennar’s shares have outperformed its industry so far this year. The price performance was backed by solid results, defying unprecedented health crisis and significant business disruption over the past three months. The company has been benefiting from higher demand for new homes, reflective of healthy housing market fundamentals arising from declining mortgage rates and a decline in inventory levels. Effective cost control and focus on making its homebuilding platform more efficient are resulting in higher operating leverage. Focus on lighter land strategy to boost free cash flow will bolster the balance sheet and thereby drive returns. Earnings estimates moved upward over the past 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism over the company’s growth prospect. However, rising land and labor costs remain headwinds.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Raymond James upped their price objective on Lennar from $41.00 to $75.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, June 18th. BTIG Research upped their target price on Lennar from $88.00 to $94.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, September 11th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on Lennar from $61.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock a fair value rating in a report on Wednesday, June 17th. Barclays upped their target price on Lennar from $70.00 to $84.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Wedbush upped their target price on Lennar from $68.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, August 6th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Lennar has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $75.31.

Shares of Lennar stock opened at $78.89 on Monday. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $75.23 and its two-hundred day moving average is $59.29. The company has a market capitalization of $24.63 billion, a PE ratio of 11.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 1.64. The company has a quick ratio of 1.24, a current ratio of 14.21 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. Lennar has a 52 week low of $25.42 and a 52 week high of $80.00.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, September 14th. The construction company reported $2.12 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.51 by $0.61. The company had revenue of $5.87 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.53 billion. Lennar had a return on equity of 13.08% and a net margin of 9.30%. Lennar’s quarterly revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.59 EPS. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Lennar will post 6.27 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, EVP Jeffrey Joseph Mccall sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.01, for a total transaction of $700,100.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 181,617 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,715,006.17. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Mark Sustana sold 40,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.87, for a total value of $3,074,800.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 67,167 shares in the company, valued at $5,163,127.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 145,000 shares of company stock valued at $9,792,450. 8.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC lifted its position in shares of Lennar by 48.8% in the second quarter. Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 48,216 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $2,971,000 after acquiring an additional 15,816 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp lifted its position in shares of Lennar by 26.5% in the second quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corp now owns 333,624 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $20,559,000 after acquiring an additional 69,961 shares in the last quarter. Ninety One UK Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Lennar in the second quarter valued at approximately $14,853,000. AdvisorNet Financial Inc lifted its position in shares of Lennar by 231.3% in the second quarter. AdvisorNet Financial Inc now owns 1,186 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $73,000 after acquiring an additional 828 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quadrature Capital Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Lennar in the second quarter valued at approximately $2,028,000. 81.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Lennar Company Profile

Lennar Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a homebuilder primarily under the Lennar brand in the United States. It operates through Homebuilding East, Homebuilding Central, Homebuilding Texas, Homebuilding West, Lennar Financial Services, Lennar Multifamily, and Rialto segments. The company's homebuilding operations include the construction and sale of single-family attached and detached homes, as well as the purchase, development, and sale of residential land.

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