Flat-Panels Drive Gains

09/24/2013 7:00 am EST


James Oberweis

President, Oberweis Asset Management, Inc.

Technology is allowing switches on a car's dashboard to be replaced with flat-panel screen controls; Jim Oberweis Jr., looks at one small cap company benefiting from this trend in The Oberweis Report.

Methode Electronics (MEI) is a global manufacturer of component and subsystem devices that are found in the primary end markets of the aerospace, appliance, automotive, construction, consumer, and other transportation industries.

The Automotive segment supplies electronic and electro-mechanical devices and related products to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), either directly or through their tiered suppliers.

Their products include control switches for electrical power and signals, connectors for electrical devices, integrated control components, switches and sensors that monitor the operation or status of a component or system, and packaging of electrical components.

The Interconnect segment provides a variety of copper and fiber-optic interconnect and interface solutions for the aerospace, appliance, commercial, computer, construction, consumer, material handling, medical, military, mining, networking, storage, and telecom markets.

Growth is being driven by design wins with major OEMs, like GM and Ford, for center stack solutions that allow motorists to access car functionality like heating/air conditioning, radio, and other settings through a flat-panel screen instead of via traditional switches.

During the fiscal year ended April 27, 2013, shipments to Ford and GM, or their tiered suppliers, represented 19.9% and 16.7%, respectively, of consolidated net sales.

In the company's latest reported first quarter, sales increased approximately 41% to $167.3 million from $118.7 million in the first quarter of last year.

Methode Electronics reported earnings per share of $.36 in the latest reported first quarter versus $.10 in the same quarter of last year.

Clients of Oberweis Asset Management own approximately 342,000 shares. These shares may be appropriate for risk oriented investors.

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