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Gentex Falls After Lower Pricing Narrows Margins: Detroit Mover

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Gentex Corp. had its biggest drop in more than three years after the maker of rearview mirrors and driver-assistance cameras reported profit that was lower than analysts’ estimates because price cuts hurt margins.

Gentex fell 11 percent to $26.87 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Oct. 21, 2008. The shares are down 9.2 percent this year after rising 0.1 percent in 2011.

Fourth-quarter profit rose to $40.5 million, or 28 cents a share, from $36.9 million, or 26 cents. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of 30 cents a share. Gross margin narrowed to 35 percent of sales from 36 percent, mostly because of yearly customer price cuts, the company said.

Gentex sales rose 17 percent to $260.3 million, the Zeeland, Michigan-based company said in a statement. The average of five estimates was for revenue of $273.6 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Clothier in Southfield, Michigan at mclothier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net

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