Monday, December 10, 2007

Analyst Downgrades Lennar

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. analyst Nishu Sood cut his rating on Lennar Corp. from “Buy” to “Hold”, citing concern over the home builder’s joint-venture agreements. Tighter credit and a glut of homes on the market have resulted in declining demand and a high rate of cancellations, which eat into home builders’ bottom lines. Sood cut his target price for Lennar stock from $36 to $17. The stock traded at $18.72 on Thursday.

Home builders and sellers, desperate to sell homes, are offering ever bigger incentives, ranging from trips and car leases to exotic pets. Sellers are willing to make deep discounts because they fear that home prices may fall further as forecast. However, the market is so bad right now that the chances to sell a home at all are really slim. And while most owners can afford to sit and wait for better times to sell their houses, home builders are suffering losses every day a new home sits empty.

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