Welcome to Lennar's Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. After the presentation we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time.
I will now turn the call over to Alexandra Lumpkin for the reading of the forward-looking statement.
Thank you, and good morning. Today's conference call may include forward-looking statements, including statements regarding Lennar's business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, strategies and prospects. Forward-looking statements represent only Lennar's estimates on the date of this conference call and are not intended to get any assurance as to actual future results, because forward-looking statements relates to matters that have not yet occurred, these statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Many factors could affect future results and may cause Lennar's actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements.
These factors include those described in this morning's press release and our SEC filings, including those under the caption Risk Factors contained in Lennar's annual report on Form 10-K most recently filed with the SEC. Please note that Lennar assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
I would like to introduce your host Mr. Stuart Miller, Executive Chairman. You may begin.
Good morning. Thank you and good morning everybody. This morning, I am here with Rick Beckwitt, our Chief Executive Officer; Jon Jaffe our President; Diane Bessette, our Chief Financial Officer; Dave Collins, our Controller; of course, you just heard from Alex and a number of others.
I'm going to go ahead and start as we always do with a brief overview. Rick and Jon will give an operational update and then Diane will give further detail on our second quarter numbers as well as some additional guidance for the rest of the year. As always, when we get to Q&A, we would like to ask you to limit your questions to just one question and a follow-up, so that we can accommodate as many as we can.
So let me go ahead and begin by saying that we're very pleased to report a very solid second quarter performance, reflecting both a pickup of the homes that were lost in the first quarter due to weather conditions and the general recovery in the housing market. Deliveries improved 5% over last year while new orders improved to last year's levels and exceeded the upper end of our guidance by just a little over 2%. In the second quarter, we achieved net earnings of over $421 million or $1.30 per share and our strong cash position enabled us to opportunistically repurchase another 1 million shares of stock and set up the repayment of $500 million of debt, just after the quarter ended.
At quarter's end and before the debt repayment, we recorded a debt to total capital ratio of 38.3%, which is a 410 basis point improvement over last year's level. Overall our