Gentex Q4 sales gains lag forecasts
Gentex Corp., a mirror, camera and electronic component supplier whose customers include BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, said its fourth quarter net income rose a disappointing 2 percent while overall revenue jumped 7 percent from a year earlier.
The company said net income reached $71 million.
Gentex reported $350.4 million in revenue for the quarter, but below the analyst consensus estimate of $368 million.
“The increase was behind the forecast provided at the beginning of the quarter primarily due to end of year inventory adjustments at certain Tier 1 automotive customers, that are not expected to continue,” a company statement said Wednesday.
Automotive revenue for the quarter jumped 7 percent to $342.4 million, with mirror unit shipments increasing 9 percent from a year earlier.
Gross profit margin in the fourth quarter dipped to 38 percent, down from 39 percent a year earlier because of higher than expected manufacturing costs, lower than expected sales levels and annual customer price reductions that were not completely offset by purchasing cost reductions and product mix improvements, the statement said.
"Occasionally with product innovation comes complexity. In the fourth quarter, we saw some of the challenges of that increased complexity manifest itself in the form of increased manufacturing costs,” Gentex CEO Fred Bauer said in a statement. “But, given our culture of performing in challenging environments, and history of simplifying the complex, we remain confident in our ability to perform in calendar year 2015.”
Gentex forecasts revenue of $1.47 billion to $1.54 billion for 2015. Analysts’ consensus predicts $1.53 billion in revenue.
Net income for the calendar year 2014 surged 29 percent, reaching $288.6 million.
Revenue for the year also grew, jumping 17 percent to $1.38 billion, compared to $1.17 billion for 2013.
Automotive revenue hit $1.34 billion for the year, up 17 percent from 2013.
The acquisition of HomeLink, a program that gives drivers the ability to remotely activate garage door openers, entry door locks, home lighting, security systems and other products, helped contribute to profit margin growth, the company said.
Gentex, of Zeeland, Michigan, typically is one of the first publicly traded suppliers to report quarterly earnings. It often acts as analysts’ predictor for the supply chain’s financial trends.