ZEELAND, Mich. (AP) -- Rising auto sales and production worldwide drove parts supplier Gentex Corp. to record first-quarter net earnings, reversing a loss in the first quarter of last year.
The Zeeland, Mich., company said Thursday it made $32.5 million for the period, or 23 cents per share, compared with a $1.6 million loss, or one cent per share, in the first quarter of 2009.
The earnings exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected 21 cents per share.
Shares in the company rose 64 cents, or nearly 3 percent.
"To say the least, we are happy to be reporting a quarter like this, given the challenges we faced one year ago at this time," CEO Fred Bauer said in a statement.
Revenue for the quarter also hit a record for the company at $185.8 million, nearly double that of the first quarter last year as global automakers cut production at the height of the recession.
Gentex, which makes automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and other auto components, said it was helped last quarter by improved global auto production and increased business from its rear camera display mirrors and a high-beam headlamp system.
It predicted that second-quarter revenue would rise 55 to 65 percent over the same period last year.