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MIAMI-The meteoric rise in the value of common stock in Lennar Corp. came to an abrupt halt Tuesday as the homebuilding giant filed an amended shelf registration statement to issue up to $700 million in new common shares.

Just as fast as the share price dropped, the issue rebounded Wednesday, closing up $1.58 per share at $48.41 on volume of 1.1 million.

Shares in the Miami-based company closed down $1.17 on Tuesday to $46.83 on volume of 1.1 million. The issue has traded as low as $22.19 a share over the same time period.

Over the past 30 days or so, the company’s stock soared nearly 25% in value to $48 as of July 16, up from a closing price of $36.19 on June 13. Much of that rise is attributed to the company’s strong earnings performance.

The company is forecast to earn $1.33 a share for the third-quarter ending Aug. 31, according to stock analysts tracked by Thompson/First Call. Lennar’s earnings exceeded the second-quarter forecast of $1.06 by 34 cents.

In the registration statement filed Tuesday, the company says it expects to use the net proceeds of the sale–offered from time to time–for general corporate purposes, to repay indebtedness or for acquisitions.

The company has evolved into one of the largest homebuilders in the US primarily on the strength of internal growth and acquisitions. Last year, for instance, Lennar acquired US Home Corp. for $243 million in cash and 13 million shares of Lennar stock–valued at about $267 million at the time.

Filing of the registration statement follows the announcement last month that the company’s board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to 10 million shares of Lennar’s publicly traded stock. That authorization totaled slightly less than 18.8% of the estimated 53,250,000 common shares outstanding.

The filing also comes as the company is reporting an increase in the ratio of its earnings to fixed charges, which includes interest on all indebtedness related to continuing operations.

Fixed charges totaled $78.53 million on earnings of $311.1 million, or a ratio of 4.0, for the six months ended May 31, compared with fixed charges of $47.8 million on earnings of $137.7 million, or a ratio of 2.9 for the same period in 2000.

The company last reported net earnings of $97 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, on total revenue of $1.4 billion for the second quarter ended May 31, compared with net of $36.4, or 64 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $968 million for the same time period in 2000.

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