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Lennar cuts labor

Jeremy Hobson Sep 25, 2007


Lisa Napoli: You probably wouldn’t have expected one of the nation’s largest homebuilders to have a good quarter. Well, Lennar had a pretty lousy one. This morning, the Miami-based builder said the third quarter was so bad, it’s slashed 35 percent of its jobs. Jeremy Hobson says next quarter could be even worse.

Jeremy Hobson: As late as yesterday, financial analysts said they were expecting a 55 cent per share loss for Lennar’s third quarter.
The actual number — more than six times that much: $3.25 a share.

Lewis Goodkin: Every major homebuilder is experiencing the same kind of thing.

That’s Lewis Goodkin, a real estate analyst at Miami-based Goodkin Consulting. He says the biggest loss in Lennar’s 53-year history means more job cuts are on the way.

That means less need for office space for a company operating in 18 states. And, Goodkin says, there will be other ripple effects.

Goodkin: It’s anything but a optimistic kind of picture. No one could look at it and say, you know, we’ve gone through the storm — we haven’t.

And if it’s a real estate storm we’re in, another cold front comes through Thursday. The nation’s fifth-biggest homebuilder, KB Home, is expected to report a loss.

I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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