Gentex Q4 net income plunges 41%

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Automotive mirror supplier Gentex Corp. said shortages in electronic components put a significant drag on its fourth-quarter financial performance compared with a year earlier.

The producer of dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based driver-assistance systems said Friday that fourth-quarter net income plunged 41 percent to $84.2 million. Revenue fell 21 percent to $419.8 million.

Gentex avoided major supply shortage issues before the latest quarter because of its “conservative inventory,” but the shortage finally caused the company to fall short of customers’ demands, CEO Steve Downing said in a statement.

Gentex shares slipped 5.3 percent to $29.61 in late morning trading.

Gentex is typically one of the first major auto suppliers to report its quarterly results, and its performance is often viewed as a bellwether for the rest of the industry’s supply chain.

While Gentex’s results suffered during the quarter, the entire industry continues to face supply issues, and Gentex could have been hit much worse, Morningstar analyst David Whiston said.

“Gentex’s Q4 was weak by their standards, but they are such a top supplier by a mile that the numbers aren’t that bad relatively speaking,” he said in a written statement to Automotive News.
The supplier said increases in raw materials costs, freight-related charges and wage inflation all led to higher expenses.

IHS Markit predicts 76.6 million total light vehicles will be produced in Gentex’s markets in 2022, but the supplier is wary of that estimate.

“We come into 2022 anticipating that at least the first half of the year will continue to see headwinds from supply and labor shortages that we believe will prevent light vehicle production from reaching the IHS estimates,” Downing said in the statement.

Gentex, based near Grand Rapids, Mich., ranks No. 86 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $1.65 billion in 2020.

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