Gentex Has Record Quarter

February 12, 2007
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ZEELAND — Gentex Corp. reported record sales and net income for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31 and a 1 percent drop in net income for the 2006 calendar year.

Net sales increased 8 percent from $138.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2005 to a record $149.6 million in the just passed quarter. Quarterly net income increased 4 percent to $30.8 million, compared with $29.6 million for 2005’s fourth quarter. Earnings per diluted share were 22 cents in the fourth quarter, 3 cents higher than recorded for the same period in 2005.

For the year, net sales increased to a record $572.3 million, up from $536.5 million in fiscal 2005. Net income for 2006 decreased 1 percent to $108.8 million. Earnings per diluted share were 73 cents for the year, up 3 cents from the same prior-year period.

“We are pleased that we were able to post record revenues and net income for the quarter despite the significant light vehicle production cuts that took place, primarily at the domestic automakers in North America,” said Gentex Chairman and CEO Fred Bauer.

Bauer said mirror unit shipments for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased by 5 percent, while automotive revenues increased by 8 percent due to “a richer mix of mirror products” shipped during the quarter. Total auto-dimming mirror unit shipments in the fourth quarter were 3.4 million, and unit shipments for the calendar year were 13.4 million. Unit shipments in North America were down 4 percent, while European business volume improved with some “featured” mirrors, increasing offshore unit shipments by 14 percent, he said.

Automotive revenues rose 8 percent to $144 million in 2006’s fourth quarter compared with the same period the year before and increased 7 percent to $548.4 million for calendar 2006. Fire Protection revenues increased 4 percent to $5.6 million in the just passed quarter of 2006 compared with the fourth quarter of 2005 and were up by 1 percent to $23.9 million for 2006 versus 2005.

Gentex announced last week that it has developed and is selling its own proprietary compass technology. According to the company, electronics is the fastest growing segment in the automotive industry, as well as one of the most competitive. Its Z-Nav compass technology can be sold as a system, with the compass heading displayed in the interior auto-dimming mirror. It features a digital, tri-axis sensor and software, Bauer said.

“All other compass technologies currently used in the automotive industry utilize analog or digital dual-axis sensors, which are more susceptible to variation and tolerance errors and must be mounted in a fixed location that is on a plane parallel to the earth’s surface,” Bauer explained.

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