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Lennar reports loss for Q4 and year

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home builder Lennar reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $811.0 million, compared to a net loss of $1.3 billion in the year-ago period. For the year ended Nov. 30, 2008, the net loss was $1.1 billion, compared to a net loss of $1.9 billion in 2007.

Revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $1.3 billion, down 41 percent from $2.2 billion. Revenues for the 2008 fiscal year were $4.6 billion, down 55 percent from $10.2 billion.

“In 2009, cash generation will continue to be our top priority,” said Stuart Miller, Lennar president and CEO. “We will convert inventory to cash and reduce both our land purchases and home-building starts. In addition, we will reduce our cash outflows by continuing to right-size our overhead to improve our S,G&A percentage.”

The fourth-quarter revenue decrease was due to a 34 percent decrease in the number of home deliveries and a 10 percent decrease in the average sales price of homes delivered. Revenues from home sales for the 2008 fiscal year decreased 56 percent to $4.2 billion from $9.5 billion in 2007. The number of home deliveries decreased 51 percent and the average sales price of homes delivered in 2008 decreased 9 percent.

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Whirlpool names president, U.S. operations

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Whirlpool has named Marc Bitzer, currently president, Whirlpool Europe, to the new position of president, U.S. operations. Bitzer will report directly to Michael Todman, president, Whirlpool North America effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Bitzer will have leadership accountability for the brand, product, channel, supply chain and manufacturing operations organizations, according to Todman.

Todman also announced that Joao Brega, currently president, Whirlpool Mexico, has been named president, Whirlpool Mexico and Canada and senior vp-Whirlpool.

In addition, Paulo Periquito, president, Whirlpool International, announced that Bracken Darrell, currently senior vp-operations, Whirlpool Europe, has been named president, Whirlpool Europe and executive vp-Whirlpool, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Darrell will report directly to Periquito and will become a member of the company’s executive committee.

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Owens Corning joins forces with T. Boone Pickens

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Owens Corning, a leader in building materials systems and glass fiber reinforcements, is partnering with T. Boone Pickens, author of the Pickens Plan, in an effort to advance energy independence and energy efficiency in homes and buildings, the Toledo, Ohio-based company announced.

The Pickens Plan, which came into the national spotlight during the 2008 presidential election campaign, calls for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil through investment in domestic renewable resources — such as wind and solar — and through the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. For the first time, the plan will now also call for increased energy efficiency in homes and buildings.

The goals of the Pickens Plan are consistent with key elements of the energy program being discussed by President-Elect Barack Obama and Congressional leaders, the company said. Part of this is achieving greater energy efficiency in buildings.

“Buildings consume 40 percent of our nation’s energy. That’s more than industry or transportation,” said Mike Thaman, chairman and CEO of Owens Corning. “Energy efficiency in homes and buildings is critical to the achievement of true energy independence.”

According to Pickens, increasing energy efficiency in homes and buildings can save the U.S. the equivalent of more than one billion barrels of oil per year. “Owens Corning shares the same concerns that millions of Americans share: reducing our dependence on foreign oil, which has threatened our security, economy and environment,” he said.

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