Gentex 1Q profits exceed expectations

Manufacturer of auto mirrors Gentex Corp. exceeded analysts“ 1Q 2003 profit estimates by USD 0.03 per share, the company reported 16 April 2003.
In the period ended 31 March 2003, Gentex had profits…

Manufacturer of auto mirrors Gentex Corp. exceeded analysts“ 1Q 2003 profit estimates by USD 0.03 per share, the company reported 16 April 2003. In the period ended 31 March 2003, Gentex had profits of USD 25.9 million, or USD 0.34 per share. That is a 36% increase over the net income of USD 19 million, or USD 0.25 per share, in the same quarter 2002. Analysts had anticipated earnings of USD 0.31 per share. Sales were up 29.6% to USD 115.3 million, compared with first-quarter sales of USD 89 million in 2002. “That growth was primarily due to higher mirror unit shipments and the continuing trend of using the mirror as a platform for electronic features,” Gentex Executive Vice President Garth Deur said in the earnings statement. Deur expects Gentex“s automatically dimming mirror shipments to increase by 15% in 2003. The company also reported progress with SmartBeam, a system to vary the intensity of the car headlight beam automatically. The system is expected to be included on three North American car models starting in 2004. The company also has advised shareholders to vote against a proposal that would encourage the placement of women and minorities on the Gentex board of directors. The proposal, submitted by institutional shareholder Calvert Social Index Fund, will be voted on during the annual shareholders meeting 14 May 2003. Calvert, a mutual fund, based in Bethesda, Maryland, held 428 of Gentex“s 75.9 million outstanding shares of stock as of Nov. 22. “Diversified boards promote better understanding of the market place, and this understanding can lead to increased revenues and profitability,” the Calvert proposal said. In its proxy statement, Gentex said it already prohibits discrimination on the job.