UPDATE 1-Lennar profit jumps as it sells more homes at higher prices

Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:59am EDT

(Adds details, outlook, share price)

March 20 (Reuters) - Lennar Corp reported a 36 percent jump in quarterly profit as it sold more homes at higher prices but said it was too soon to predict the strength of the spring selling season.

Lennar's shares rose about 3.5 percent in premarket trading.

Most of Lennar's peers have indicated to a strong spring selling season -- traditionally the strongest quarter for homebuilders.

Lennar, the second-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, said

new orders rose 10 percent to 4,465 homes at the end of the first quarter, while the value of the company's order backlog jumped 33 percent to $1.9 billion.

The company said average selling price rose 18 percent in the quarter. The company sold 3,609 homes in the quarter, an increase of 13 percent from a year earlier.

Net income rose to $78.1 million, or 35 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $57.5 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 38 percent to $1.4 billion.

Lennar shares closed at $41.34 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (Reporting by Ankit Ajmera and Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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