Gentex Sales Headed Upstream

    ZEELAND — Even in the face of reduced vehicle production in North America and Europe, Gentex Corp. is en route to posting strong double-digit sales gains for 2003.

    Increased product penetration rates on vehicles produced by existing customers and new contracts with automakers have the Zeeland-based maker of automatic-dimming automotive mirrors on the way to once again recording a 15 percent growth rate in annual unit shipments.

    Executives, speaking last week during a conference call with brokerage analysts to discuss the company’s third quarter results, didn’t offer any new guidance for growth in 2004, other than to repeat earlier comments that they still anticipate another 10 percent to 15 percent increase in mirror shipments next year.

    “There’s been no reason, at this point, for us to revise that or to say anything different,” Gentex Executive Vice President Garth Deur said.

    The third quarter saw Gentex post record sales and profits.

    Quarterly sales of $112.8 million for the period ending Sept. 30 were up 11 percent from the $101.5 million during the same period a year ago.

    Net income for the third quarter totaled $25.6 million, or 34 cents per share, up 20 percent from the $21.4 million, or 28 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2002.

    Gentex’s year-to-date sales were $345.1 million, up 20 percent from the $287.9 million through the first nine months of 2002.

    Year-to-date net income totaled $77.6 million, or $1.02 per share, a 26 percent increase from the $61.9 million, or 82 cents per share, recorded in the same period a year earlier.

    Deur said the company’s anticipated four-quarter growth rate of 15 percent to 20 percent in unit shipments is based on JD Powers & Associates forecast for vehicle production of 16 million in North America and 16 million in Europe, both of which represent 2 percent declines from 2002, and 20.3 million vehicles in Asia.

    So far this year in North America, where vehicle production through the end of September was off about 4 percent, according to Ward’s Automotive, unit shipments to automakers are up 10 percent. In further reflection of growing vehicle penetration rates, offshore unit shipments have grown during 2003 by 23 percent to customers in Asia and Europe, markets where Gentex in the last month has announced new product programs for Volvo, Infiniti, Mazda, Nissan and Honda.

    “We had another very good quarter and are on track to deliver excellent performance for the rest of the year,” Deur said.    

    Gentex Financials

    3Q 2003: $112.8 million
    3Q 2002: $101.5 million
    YTD 2003: $345.1 million
    YTD 2002: $287.9 million 

    Net income
    3Q 2003: $25.6 million,  34 cents EPS
    3Q 2002: $21.4 million,  28 cents EPS
    YTD 2003: $77.6 million,  $1.02 EPS
    YTD 2002: $61.9 million, 82 cents EPS

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