Monday, December 3, 2007

Are We There Yet For Homebuilders - An Update?

In September we blogged about the dangers of using stated book value as a buy signal when evaluating Homebuilders for purchase. The original post is here at this link:

Are We There Yet for Homebuilders - Part II?

My advice was not to believe the book values being used in quarterly balance sheets.

"do not use price to book yet as a buy signal. Book value is in flux and will continue to go down quarter after quarter. The safest thing to do is take the latest quarters book value and write off 30% and then slap a .75 multiple on it and then buy them there."

Well, it seems that a 30% haircut is not enough. Lennar Corp filed an 8-K disclosing that it sold some of its lot and land inventory at a haircut of 55% off the book value that Lennar thought it was worth just eight weeks ago.

The full filing can be read here at the SEC site.

The relevant quote is:

"As of September 30, 2007, the acquired properties had a net book value of approximately $1.3 billion and the sales price was $525 million."

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