SOURCE: Gentex Corporation

January 29, 2008 08:00 ET

Gentex Reports Record Revenues and Net Income for the Fourth Quarter and Calendar Year 2007

ZEELAND, MI--(Marketwire - January 29, 2008) - Gentex Corporation ("the Company") (NASDAQ: GNTX), the Zeeland, Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and commercial fire protection products, today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2007.

The Company's net sales increased by 14 percent from $149.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2006 to a record $170.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Record net income for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007, increased by three percent to $31.8 million compared with $30.8 million in the fourth quarter last year. The Company's net income for the fourth quarter and calendar year 2007 was negatively impacted by the $2.9 million (pre-tax) litigation judgment related to the Muth litigation in Wisconsin, as discussed below. Earnings per diluted share were flat at 22 cents in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with same prior-year period in 2006. The Muth litigation judgment negatively impacted the Company's net income for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2007, by approximately $1.9 million (after tax) and earnings per share by approximately one cent.

For the year ended December 31, 2007, net sales increased by 14 percent to $653.9 million compared with $572.3 million in the year ended December 31, 2006. Net income for the calendar year 2007 increased by 12 percent to $122.1 million compared with $108.8 million in calendar year 2006. Earnings per diluted share increased by 16 percent to 85 cents for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with 73 cents for the same period in calendar 2006.

During the fourth quarter of 2007, the Company's quarterly financial results were negatively impacted by approximately $358,000 (pre-tax, reported in Engineering, Research and Development Expense) in legal expenses related to litigation between the Company and K.W. Muth and Muth Mirror Systems LLC (collectively "Muth"). The litigation, as previously announced, relates to exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators. A trial took place in Wisconsin in July 2007, and in December 2007, the Court found that Muth's patents were invalid and unenforceable, and that Gentex's Razor Mirror product does not infringe the patents in suit. However, the Court did find that Gentex had breached the agreement between the two companies and, on January 24, 2008, entered a judgment against Gentex of $2.9 million. In accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, the Company recorded a pre-tax charge of $2.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. It is uncertain at this time whether either party will appeal. (The $2.9 million judgment was recorded above the operating income line on the Company's income statement as "Litigation Judgment").

"We are pleased to report that the Company's sales continue to grow at a significant pace, despite the issues related to reduced vehicle production levels at the traditional 'Big Three' automakers in North America," said Gentex Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Bauer. "Our business strategy many years ago was to work to diversify our business so that eventually our percentage of business with each automaker would reflect that automaker's percentage of global market share, and we believe that we are on our way to doing that.

"We also have an excellent portfolio of very popular, high value-added products to offer our customers, and a number of those products are just starting to get some traction, such as SmartBeam® and the new Rear Camera Display (RCD) Mirror. Each of those products have incremental average selling prices that are at least three times higher than the price of one base feature auto-dimming rearview mirror, and there appears to be significant market demand for each," concluded Bauer.

Gentex Senior Vice President Enoch Jen said that the Company's gross margin declined sequentially from 35.1% in the third quarter to 34.2% in the fourth quarter, primarily because of the Company's inability to fully leverage fixed overhead costs due to approximately 100,000 units that customers canceled at the last minute during the last two weeks of December 2007, which units primarily consisted of exterior auto-dimming mirror units for tier one mirror suppliers. The Company believes that the reduction in orders was primarily due to year-end inventory adjustments by those tier one exterior mirror suppliers.

In addition, in order to meet a large customer's cost reduction efforts, the Company granted a price reduction that impacted the fourth quarter of 2007. In separate negotiations with that same customer, the Company reached an agreement in the ordinary course of business to be that customer's sole supplier of RCD Mirrors for model years 2011 to 2015. The Company has not yet announced any rear camera display business awards with that customer at this time.

Automatic-dimming mirror unit shipments for the fourth quarter of 2007 increased by 13 percent, but automotive revenues increased by 15 percent due to a richer mix of mirror products shipped during the quarter. For the fourth quarter of 2007, unit shipments in North America increased by 16 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2006, primarily due to increased interior automatic-dimming mirror unit shipments for certain domestic and Asian transplant automakers. Increased penetration of interior auto-dimming mirrors at certain of our European and Asian automotive customers was the primary factor in achieving an 11 percent increase in the Company's offshore unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with the fourth quarter of 2006.

SmartBeam

SmartBeam is the high beam headlamp assist system that the Company developed and introduced in the 2005 model year. For the 2007 calendar year, the Company shipped approximately 304,000 SmartBeam units, which was at the lower end of guidance, primarily due to production cuts on light vehicles in North America. Option rates have remained strong at 25-30% on average. For the 2008 calendar year, we currently expect to ship approximately 350,000 to 400,000 SmartBeam units. There are a number of follow-on SmartBeam programs for existing and new customers scheduled for the 2009 calendar year.

Rear Camera Display (RCD) Mirror

The Company's RCD Mirror consists of a proprietary liquid crystal display (LCD) device that shows a panoramic video view of objects behind the vehicle in real time. When the vehicle is put in "reverse," the display illuminates and automatically appears through the rearview mirror's reflective surface to give a high resolution, bright-colored image. The image is generated by a camera or cameras placed in a protected area at the rear of the vehicle. When the vehicle is put in "drive," the display in the mirror automatically disappears. The ability to automatically have the display appear through the automatic-dimming mirror's surface is made possible by utilizing proprietary "transflective" coatings developed by Gentex Corporation.

The RCD Mirror is currently offered as original equipment as a stand-alone option on four Ford and Lincoln programs, as well as on the Kia Mohave for Korea. The RCD Mirror is also offered on a number of port- or dealer-installed programs. The Company shipped approximately 65,000 rear camera display units in calendar year 2007, and currently estimates that it will ship between 250,000 and 300,000 in calendar year 2008. Based on the Company's current forecast, Gentex estimates that RCD Mirror shipments could more than double in calendar year 2009 compared with calendar year 2008.

The automakers currently offering Gentex's RCD mirror are doing so absent any legislation with respect to expanding the field of view on light vehicles so that drivers can detect objects directly behind their vehicles, and made the decision to offer the product before any legislation was pending. There currently is pending legislation, called the "Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007," which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and was introduced into the Senate on December 19, 2007. This Bill orders the Secretary of Transportation at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to initiate rulemaking to revise the federal standard to expand the field of view on light vehicles in the United States so that drivers can detect objects directly behind vehicles. The requirements may be met by the use of additional mirrors, sensors, cameras or other technology. NHTSA has conducted some independent studies already and appears to be leaning toward the use of camera-based systems. The Company believes that the Bill will pass the U.S. Senate and will be signed into law sometime during 2008. Once it is signed into law, the timeline is approximately seven years from the date of the initiation of rulemaking by NHTSA until automotive manufacturers will be required to comply with the rules.

"Based on the interest level of current customers and those with whom we have development programs, absent any legislation, we currently expect early adoption by many automakers," said Jen.

Future Estimates

Gentex Senior Vice President Enoch Jen provided certain guidance for the first quarter and calendar year 2008.

"For the first quarter and calendar year 2008, we anticipate that our top line growth will increase by approximately 10 percent over the same prior-year periods, based on the current forecast for product mix, light vehicle production levels and take rates," said Jen.

He also said that based on the current forecast, the gross margin in the first quarter is expected to be in the range of 35 percent. When comparing calendar year 2007 to calendar year 2006, the Company's gross margin was flat at 34.8 percent, which is primarily attributable to purchasing cost reductions, leveraging the Company's fixed overhead costs, and improved manufacturing yields, which improvements were offset by annual and other automotive customer price reductions. The Company's gross margin for all of calendar year 2008 could improve by 25 to 50 basis points compared with the gross margin reported for calendar year 2007, primarily depending upon top line growth and purchasing cost reductions.

Jen said that the Company's current 2008 forecast is based on CSM's preliminary mid-January forecast for light vehicle production in the first quarter of 3.6 million units for North America, 5.6 million units for Europe and 4.0 million units for Japan and Korea. Based on that same forecast, CSM is expecting light vehicle production of 14.4 million units for North America, 21.9 million units for Europe and 14.9 million units for Japan and Korea for calendar year 2008.

Unit Shipments and Revenues

Total auto-dimming mirror unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2007 were approximately 3.9 million, a 13 percent increase over the same period last year. Auto-dimming mirror unit shipments increased by 13 percent to 15.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with the same prior-year period.

Auto-dimming mirror unit shipments to customers in North America increased by 16 percent to approximately 1.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with the same quarter last year. North American light vehicle production was up one percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006. For the year ended December 31, 2007, auto-dimming mirror unit shipments to customers in North America increased by 10 percent to approximately 6.7 million compared with the same period last year. North American light vehicle production declined by two percent for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with the same period in 2006.

Unit shipments to offshore customers increased by 11 percent to approximately 2.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with the same period in 2006. Light vehicle production in Europe increased by six percent, and production increased by five percent in Japan and Korea, in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared with the same prior-year periods. For the year ended December 31, 2007, auto-dimming mirror unit shipments to offshore customers increased by 16 percent to approximately 8.5 million compared with the same period last year. Light vehicle production in Europe increased by six percent, and production increased by three percent in Japan and Korea for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with the same periods in 2006.

Automotive revenues increased by 15 percent to $165.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with the same period last year, and increased by 15 percent to $630.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with the same period in 2006. Fire Protection revenues decreased by two percent to $5.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with the fourth quarter of 2006, and were approximately flat at $23.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared with the same period in 2006.

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

The financial information provided, including earnings, is in accordance with GAAP. Still, the Company believes it is useful to provide non-GAAP earnings to exclude the effect of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 123(R), "Share-Based Payment" [FAS 123(R)]. This non-GAAP financial measure allows investors to evaluate current performance in relation to historic performance without considering this non-cash charge.

The Company's management uses this non-GAAP information internally to help assess performance in the current period versus historical performance (especially prior periods where this non-cash charge was not included). Disclosure of non-GAAP earnings to exclude the effect of FAS 123(R) has economic substance because the excluded expenses do not represent current or future cash expenditures.

A reconciliation of non-GAAP earnings, to exclude the effect of FAS 123(R), to GAAP earnings can be found in the attached financial table. The use of non-GAAP earnings is intended to supplement, not to replace, presentation of GAAP earnings. Like all non-GAAP financial measures, non-GAAP earnings are subject to inherent limitations because all of the expenses required by GAAP are not included. The limitations are compensated by the fact that non-GAAP earnings are not relied on exclusively, but are used to simply supplement GAAP earnings.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act, as amended, that are based on management's belief, assumptions, current expectations, estimates and projections about the global automotive industry, the economy, the impact of stock option expenses on earnings, the ability to leverage fixed manufacturing overhead costs, unit shipment and revenue growth rates, top line growth rates, gross margins, and the Company itself. Words like "anticipates," "believes," "confident," "estimates," "expects," "forecast," "likely," "plans," "projects," and "should," and variations of such words and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. These statements do not guarantee future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, expense, likelihood and degree of occurrence. These risks include, without limitation, employment and general economic conditions, the pace of automotive production worldwide, the maintenance of the Company's relative market share, competitive pricing pressures, currency fluctuations, the financial strength of the Company's customers, supply chain disruptions, potential sale of OEM business segments or suppliers, the mix of products purchased by customers, the ability to continue to make product innovations, the success of certain newer products (e.g. SmartBeam®, Z-Nav® and Rear Camera Display Mirror), and other risks identified in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Therefore, actual results and outcomes may materially differ from what is expressed or forecasted. Furthermore, the Company undertakes no obligation to update, amend, or clarify forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Fourth Quarter Conference Call

A conference call related to this news release will be simulcast live on the Internet beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time today. To access that call, go to www.gentex.com and select the "Audio Webcast" icon in the lower right-hand corner of the page. Other conference calls hosted by the Company will also be available at that site in the future.

About the Company

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is an international company that provides high-quality products to the worldwide automotive industry and North American fire protection market. Based in Zeeland, Michigan, the Company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming automotive rearview mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. Many of the mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and approximately 96 percent of the Company's revenues are derived from the sales of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world.

                  GENTEX CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
                CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME



                    Three Months  Ended               Year Ended
                       December 31,                  December 31,
                    2007           2006           2007           2006
                -------------  -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Sales       $ 170,722,639  $ 149,589,602  $ 653,933,236  $ 572,267,073

Costs and
 Expenses
  Cost of Goods
   Sold           112,303,124     97,493,721    426,236,241    373,163,484
  Engineering,
   Research &
   Development     12,740,981     11,115,661     50,715,057     41,773,792
  Selling,
   General &
   Administrative   9,068,837      7,841,410     35,280,846     30,882,821
  Litigation
   Judgment         2,885,329              0      2,885,329              0
  Other Expense
   (Income)       (13,725,745)   (11,756,683)   (40,923,005)   (32,526,622)
                -------------  -------------  -------------  -------------

Total Costs and
 Expenses         123,272,526    104,694,109    474,194,468    413,293,475
                -------------  -------------  -------------  -------------


Income Before
 Income Taxes      47,450,113     44,895,493    179,738,768    158,973,598

Provision for
 Income Taxes      15,600,391     14,079,519     57,608,747     50,212,596
                -------------  -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Income      $  31,849,722  $  30,815,974  $ 122,130,021  $ 108,761,002
                =============  =============  =============  =============

Earnings Per
 Share
  Basic         $        0.22  $        0.22  $        0.85  $        0.74
  Diluted       $        0.22  $        0.22  $        0.85  $        0.73
Weighted
 Average
 Shares:
  Basic           143,995,387    142,219,264    143,056,704    147,950,666
  Diluted         145,188,679    142,695,329    144,070,297    148,494,363


Cash Dividends
 Declared per
 Share          $       0.105  $       0.095  $        0.40  $        0.37


                 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS


                               Dec 31, 2007                  Dec 31, 2006
                               -------------                 -------------
ASSETS
Cash and
 Short-Term
 Investments                   $ 397,988,781                 $ 328,227,710
Other Current
 Assets                          130,505,167                   118,650,384
                               -------------                 -------------

Total Current
 Assets                          528,493,948                   446,878,094

Plant and
 Equipment -
 Net                             205,609,671                   184,134,373
Long-Term
 Investments
 and Other
 Assets                          163,919,061                   154,015,933
                               -------------                 -------------

Total Assets                   $ 898,022,680                 $ 785,028,400
                               =============                 =============


LIABILITIES AND
 SHAREHOLDERS'
 INVESTMENT
Current
 Liabilities                   $  68,362,705                 $  57,362,978
Long-Term Debt                             0                             0
Deferred Income
 Taxes                            22,847,779                    24,971,133
Shareholders'
 Investment                      806,812,196                   702,694,289
                               -------------                 -------------

Total
 Liabilities &
 Shareholders'
 Investment                    $ 898,022,680                 $ 785,028,400
                               =============                 =============






                     AUTO-DIMMING MIRROR UNIT SHIPMENTS
                               (Thousands)


                     Fourth Quarters
                          Ended                    Years Ended
                       December 31,                December 31,
                    ----------------- --------  ----------------- --------
                      2007     2006   % Change    2007     2006   % Change
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Domestic Interior      1,247    1,050       19%    4,907    4,258       15%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Domestic Exterior        452      414        9%    1,768    1,784       -1%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Total Domestic
 Units                 1,699    1,465       16%    6,676    6,043       10%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------

                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Foreign Interior       1,589    1,359       17%    6,093    5,168       18%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Foreign Exterior         574      592       -3%    2,452    2,217       11%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Total Foreign Units    2,163    1,952       11%    8,545    7,385       16%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------

                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Total Interior
 Mirrors               2,836    2,411       18%   11,000    9,426       17%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Total Exterior
 Mirrors               1,026    1,006        2%    4,220    4,001        6%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------
Total Mirror Units     3,863    3,417       13%   15,221   13,427       13%
                    -------- -------- --------  -------- -------- --------

Note: Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform with the
current year presentation.  Amounts may not total due to rounding.





                    GENTEX CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
                    STATEMENTS OF INCOME RECONCILIATION
                       NON-GAAP MEASUREMENT TO GAAP



                                   Three Months Ended December 31, 2007
                               -------------------------------------------
                                                               (Non-GAAP
                                                               Excluding
                                              Stock Option   Stock Option
                                   GAAP          Expense        Expense)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Sales                      $ 170,722,639  $           0  $ 170,722,639

Costs and Expenses
  Cost of Goods Sold             112,303,124       (646,046)   111,657,078
  Engineering, Research &
   Development                    12,740,981       (705,700)    12,035,281
  Selling, General &
   Administrative                  9,068,837       (667,146)     8,401,691
  Litigation Judgment              2,885,329              0      2,885,329
  Other Expense (Income)         (13,725,745)             0    (13,725,745)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Total Costs and Expenses         123,272,526     (2,018,892)   121,253,634
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Income Before Provision for
 Income Taxes                     47,450,113      2,018,892     49,469,005

Provision for Income Taxes        15,600,391        725,609     16,326,000
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Income                        31,849,722      1,293,283     33,143,005
                               =============  =============  =============


                                        Year Ended December 31, 2007
                               -------------------------------------------
                                                               (Non-GAAP
                                                               Excluding
                                              Stock Option   Stock Option
                                   GAAP          Expense        Expense)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Sales                      $ 653,933,236  $           0  $ 653,933,236

Costs and Expenses
  Cost of Goods Sold             426,236,241     (2,422,610)   423,813,631
  Engineering, Research &
   Development                    50,715,057     (2,616,038)    48,099,019
  Selling, General &
   Administrative                 35,280,846     (2,462,844)    32,818,002
  Litigation Judgment              2,885,329              0      2,885,329
  Other Expense (Income)         (40,923,005)             0    (40,923,005)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Total Costs and Expenses         474,194,468     (7,501,492)   466,692,976
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Income Before Provision for
 Income Taxes                    179,738,768      7,501,492    187,240,260

Provision for Income Taxes        57,608,747      4,195,253     61,804,000
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Income                       122,130,021      3,306,239    125,436,260
                               =============  =============  =============




                                   Three Months Ended December 31, 2006
                               -------------------------------------------
                                                               (Non-GAAP
                                                               Excluding
                                              Stock Option   Stock Option
                                   GAAP          Expense        Expense)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Sales                      $ 149,589,602  $           0  $ 149,589,602

Costs and Expenses
  Cost of Goods Sold              97,493,721       (582,524)    96,911,197
  Engineering, Research &
   Development                    11,115,661       (621,129)    10,494,532
  Selling, General &
   Administrative                  7,841,410       (577,582)     7,263,828
  Litigation Judgment                      0              0              0
  Other Expense (Income)         (11,756,683)             0    (11,756,683)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Total Costs and Expenses         104,694,109     (1,781,235)   102,912,874
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Income Before Provision
  for Income Taxes                44,895,493      1,781,235     46,676,728

Provision for Income Taxes        14,079,519        740,481     14,820,000
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Income                     $  30,815,974  $   1,040,754  $  31,856,728
                               =============  =============  =============


                                        Year Ended December 31, 2006
                               -------------------------------------------
                                                               (Non-GAAP
                                                               Excluding
                                              Stock Option   Stock Option
                                   GAAP          Expense        Expense)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Sales                      $ 572,267,073  $           0  $ 572,267,073

Costs and Expenses
  Cost of Goods Sold             373,163,484     (2,265,581)   370,897,903
  Engineering, Research &
   Development                    41,773,792     (2,502,577)    39,271,215
  Selling, General &
   Administrative                 30,882,821     (2,289,977)    28,592,844
  Litigation Judgment                      0              0              0
  Other Expense (Income)         (32,526,622)             0    (32,526,622)
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Total Costs and Expenses         413,293,475     (7,058,135)   406,235,340
                               -------------  -------------  -------------
Income Before Provision
  for Income Taxes               158,973,598      7,058,135    166,031,733

Provision for Income Taxes        50,212,596      2,503,404     52,716,000
                               -------------  -------------  -------------

Net Income                     $ 108,761,002  $   4,554,731  $ 113,315,733
                               =============  =============  =============




                                              Non-GAAP 2007
                               GAAP 2007 vs.    vs. 2006 %
                               2006 % Change      Change
                               -------------  -------------

Net Sales                               14.1%          14.1%

Costs and Expenses
  Cost of Goods Sold                    15.2%          15.2%
  Engineering, Research &
   Development                          14.6%          14.7%
  Selling, General &
   Administrative                       15.7%          15.7%
  Litigation Judgment 
  Other Expense (Income)                16.7%          16.7%

Total Costs and Expenses                17.7%          17.8%

Income Before Provision for
 Income Taxes                            5.7%           6.0%

Provision for Income Taxes              10.8%          10.2%

Net Income                               3.4%           4.0%



                                              Non-GAAP 2007
                               GAAP 2007 vs.    vs. 2006 %
                               2006 % Change      Change
                               -------------  -------------

Net Sales                               14.3%          14.3%

Costs and Expenses
  Cost of Goods Sold                    14.2%          14.3%
  Engineering, Research &
   Development                          21.4%          22.5%
  Selling, General &
   Administrative                       14.2%          14.8%
  Litigation Judgment 
  Other Expense (Income)                25.8%          25.8%

Total Costs and Expenses                14.7%          14.9%

Income Before Provision
  for Income Taxes                      13.1%          12.8%

Provision for Income Taxes              14.7%          17.2%

Net Income                              12.3%          10.7%

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Connie Hamblin
    (616) 772-1800