Gentex Reports Tough Third Quarter

October 21, 2008
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Gentex Corp. has reported a third quarter net sales decline of 6 percent, compared to the same quarter of 2007. The company also announced it repurchased about 2.5 million shares of its stock during the third quarter.

"The third quarter of 2008 is one of the toughest quarters that Gentex has experienced since the early '90s," said Gentex Chairman and CEO Fred Bauer. "The 'perfect storm' has been created with the global automotive industry experiencing record declines in sales levels, resulting in significant production cuts on their part, coupled with the global financial credit crisis."

Bauer added that the company's global diversification "was its saving grace during the quarter." The Zeeland company's shipments of auto-dimming mirrors to overseas automakers increased by 13 percent in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. At the same time its North American shipments of mirrors declined by 27 percent. For the first nine months of 2008, Gentex shipments to automakers headquartered outside of North America represented 76 percent of total automotive shipments, according to Bauer.

Bauer said Gentex is currently increasing its investment in engineering and R&D, to be prepared with new products when the current economic stagnation ends.

Net sales in the third quarter were $153.1 million. Gentex stock (NASDAQ: GNTX) closed at $11.59 on Monday. One year ago it was selling at slightly over $20.

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