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Gentex Buys Unique Laminating Technology to Enhance Aerospace Offerings

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Gentex Corporation (GNTX), a manufacturer of digital vision, connected car, dimmable glass, and fire protection products has acquired an ultra-thin glass laminating technology that produces durable, lightweight, thin glass engineered for aircraft cabin partitions, mirrors, and wood veneer applications. Shares jumped 3% to close at $36.36 on October 11.

Gentex is well known for manufacturing electronically dimmable windows for the aerospace industry. These specialized windows darken on-demand to prevent sunlight from entering the aircraft while providing a beautiful exterior view for passengers. (See Insiders’ Hot Stocks on TipRanks)

Gentex acquired Belgium-based Air-Craftglass in 2020. Air-Craftglass develops glass solutions specifically for private and commercial aircraft, and its new laminating technology and related patents were part of the acquisition.

Notably, Air-Craftglass successfully engineered a lightweight, chemically strengthened, thin glass laminate which is superior to previous ones built with polycarbonate structures. The new laminates provide improved noise reduction, UV resistance, antibacterial performance, and flame/smoke resistance.

Gentex seeks to use this new technology for multiple purposes, such as glass dust panels, class dividers, monitor protectors, as well as mirrors for use in lavatories, cabins, and galleys. Moreover, this technology can be applied in tabletops, cabinet doors, ceilings, and decorative glass elements.

Commenting on the new technology, Neil Boehm, chief technology officer of GNTX, said, “This new laminating technology complements our expertise in glass processing while opening the door to new features within the aircraft cabin. Gentex is now in the process of bringing Air-Craftglass’ proprietary production techniques in-house to develop a comprehensive collection of glass, mirrors, and wood veneer products for aerospace and potentially other industries.”

Recently, Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney lowered his price target on the stock to $30 from $32 while maintaining a Sell rating.

Delaney has lowered his 2021 and 2022 global auto production estimates to about 76 million and 85 million, respectively, thereby lowering earnings estimates for auto suppliers and lidar companies.

The analyst believes that ongoing supply chain constraints and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases have impacted assembly and test operations in Southeast Asia, which will hamper auto sales and production going forward.

Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 5 Buys, 1 Hold, and 2 Sells. The average Gentex price target of $36.25 implies that shares are fully valued at current levels. Shares have gained 31.7% over the past year.

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