Home builder Lennar Corp. posts Q1 profit
Miami-based home builder Lennar Corp. posted a profit of $27.4 million in the first quarter ended Feb. 28. That compares with a loss of $6.5 million in the same quarter last year.
Revenues were down 3% to $558.0 million, as the company’s gross margin on home sales improved 80 basis points to 20.0%.
"We remained focused on the core fundamentals of our business, generating profitable results in each of our business segments," said Lennar’s Stuart Miller, president and CEO. "Our home-building segment continued to produce strong gross margins, benefiting from our intense focus on controlling construction costs and opening new high-margin communities."
The company reported new orders of 2,267 homes, down 12%, with a cancellation rate of 17%.
"While it is unclear whether the spring selling season will gain momentum or continue its sluggish recovery, we are confident that our company is well positioned for a profitable year in 2011," Miller added.
Japan disaster could boost commodity prices
An analyst for a major Canadian bank has predicted that prices for lumber, plywood, steel and other commodities will rise over the next six to eight months due to the rebuilding efforts in Japan.
As reported in the Montreal Gazette and other media outlets, Scotiabank’s commodities expert Patricia Mohr said that reconstruction in Japan will boost demand and prices for lumber, panelboard and plywood, especially from West Coast producers, and also for steel and many other metals.
As for energy, Japan is turning to imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil to offset the loss of its nuclear power capacity, Mohr said.
Osmose acquires assets of Peninsula Copper Industries
Griffin, Ga.-based Osmose, a global supplier of wood preservative products, acquired the production assets of Peninsula Copper Industries, Inc. (PCI), a producer of copper-based chemicals.
PCI, headquartered in Hubbell, Michigan, is a leading manufacturer and exporter of copper carbonate and cupric oxide chemicals. PCI has been a copper compound supplier to Osmose for over 25 years.
“The acquisition of PCI is another important step in our integration into the manufacture of copper compounds that are essential to the production of our MicroPro, NatureWood, ACQ, and CCA preservative products," said Paul Goydan, president of Osmose. "This acquisition strengthens Osmose’s commitment to support the wood preservation business in North America and the world.”
PCI will continue as a distributor of its established products under a contract manufacturing arrangement with Osmose, according to Kevin Codere, president of PCI.