At Lennar, sales drop but losses narrow
Lennar saw sales drop in the third quarter, but the national home builder managed to narrow its losses in continuingly severe market headwinds.
Lennar posted losses of $89 million compared with $513.9 million in losses reported in last year’s third quarter. Total revenue, both from the company’s home-building and mortgage units, fell 53 percent to $1.11 billion, from $2.34 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Deliveries of homes fell 49 percent in the quarter, and the average sale price of homes fell 9 percent.
CEO Stuart Miller told investors that the federal government’s housing stimulus bill has so far not been effective in stabilizing the market.
“While we expected the housing market to remain constrained throughout the third quarter, the weakness in the market actually accelerated as a result of increased foreclosures, weakened consumer confidence and tightened mortgage lending standards,” Miller said in a statement.
Miller said that the landmark housing stimulus bill enacted in July, which included a new $7,500 maximum tax credit for home buyers, hasn’t yet made a serious impact in the lagging home market. He said, however, that the builder ended the third quarter with $857 million in cash, with no outstanding borrowings under its credit facility. The builder also reduced debt from its failed joint-venture agreements, another important indicator of the company’s health compared with other big builders — such as Technical Olympic USA and Woodside Homes — that have declared bankruptcy in recent months.
“As we enter the fourth quarter of 2008, we remain well-positioned with a strong balance sheet and properly scaled operations,” Miller said, “to navigate the current market as a leaner and more efficient home builder.”
LED shines at lighting competition
The future of energy-efficient lighting shone brightly at the sixth annual Lighting for Tomorrow competition, as a record 32 companies submitted entries featuring the latest in light-emitting diode (LED) technology. In all, 56 solid-state lighting models incorporated LEDs, while 40 models used compact fluorescent lighting (CFL).
The grand prize winner was MaxLite’s Brigantine Fixture Family. The competition, launched in 2002, is organized by the American Lighting Association (ALA), the U.S. Dept. of Energy (represented by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), and the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE).
This year’s competition included categories for indoor and outdoor fixture families using pin-based linear or CFLs. LED-based fixtures encouraged manufacturers to use LEDs in innovative, energy-efficient designs. Solid-state lighting fixtures were judged on color appearance, color rendering, amount and distribution of light, overall aesthetic appearance, innovation and application efficiency compared to standard lighting technologies. Two new categories were added to the fluorescent competition — one for outdoor living fixtures and one for indoor recessed downlights.
The grand prize winner for the 2008 Lighting for Tomorrow Yearbook competition was MaxLite, which won for its indoor fixture “Brigantine.” The Brigantine Collection combines old and new — the color and mood of oil lamps and tall ships with GU-24 CFL lighting. The Brigantine Collection includes a sconce, flush-mount ceiling fixture, a hanging pendant, a wall sconce, a single-light vanity, a three-light vanity, as well as a three-light chandelier and a five-light chandelier.
Cleveland-based Kichler Lighting, a traditional light fixture manufacturer, was the 2008 Solid State Lighting Competition winner in the Near-term Applications category (for LED products) with its “Design Pro Series Undercabinet.” The fixture comes in 6-, 12- and 18-inch lengths and features an LED Bright Disc in a 3/8-inch aluminum profile.
Royce Lighting swept the competition in the New Outdoor Living category with three winners. Designers Fountain, Savoy House and Sea Gull Lighting were repeat winners in the Traditional Outdoor CFL fixture family category.
The winners were announced at an award ceremony during the American Lighting Association conference held last week. The award winners were:
• Grand Prize Winner/Indoor Fixture Families
“Brigantine” by Maxlite
• Near-term Applications/Solid State Lighting Fixtures
“Design Pro Series Undercabinet” by Kichler Lighting
“LR4 Recessed Downlight” by Cree LED Lighting Solutions
“Cylindrium Desk/Task Light” by Luximo
• Winner/Indoor Fixture Families
“Carson” by American Fluorescent
“Izoro” by Lithonia Lighting
“Westin” by Progress Lighting
• Recessed Downlight Winner
“Lytecaster” by Lightolier
“Halo” by Cooper Lighting
“IriS” by Cooper Lighting
• Traditional Outdoor Winner/Outdoor Fixture Families
“Sedona” by Designers Fountain
“St. Andrew” by Savoy House Lighting
“Eternity” by Sea Gull Lighting Products
• Outdoor Living Winner/Outdoor Fixture Families
“Madison” by Royce Lighting
“Palo Alto” by Royce Lighting
“Campiello” by Royce Lighting
Weyerhaeuser again named to ‘sustainability’ index
Forest products company Weyerhaeuser has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a list of public companies tracked for their economic, environmental and social performance.
Weyerhaeuser was first named to the sustainability index last year. The index was launched in 1999.
Companies listed on the index go through a yearly assessment of internal issues such as corporate governance, risk management, labor practices, climate change and supply chain standards. Companies are invited to participate in the review process, and the selection of index companies is based on an assessment of general and industry-specific criteria.
“Our expertise in managing forests puts us in a unique position to find sustainable solutions for people and the planet,” said Dan Fulton, president and CEO of Weyerhaeuser. “Trees and wood products store carbon. We use science and technology to protect the environment while creating the products customers demand.”
Weyerhaeuser is based in Federal Way, Wash.