Cognex Co. (CGNX) Lowered to “Hold” at Needham & Company LLC

Needham & Company LLC cut shares of Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. TheStreet upgraded shares of Cognex from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, March 9th. Deutsche Bank AG started coverage on shares of Cognex in a research report on Thursday, December 8th. They set a buy rating and a $74.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Cognex from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 17th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on shares of Cognex in a research report on Thursday, January 26th. They set a neutral rating and a $66.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Northcoast Research lowered shares of Cognex from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $59.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Friday, December 2nd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Cognex presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $59.61.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) opened at 80.81 on Wednesday. Cognex has a 1-year low of $35.15 and a 1-year high of $81.41. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $74.66 and its 200-day moving average is $61.53. The company has a market capitalization of $6.95 billion, a P/E ratio of 47.06 and a beta of 1.33.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 16th. The company reported $0.43 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.30 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $129.32 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $116.93 million. Cognex had a net margin of 26.59% and a return on equity of 13.67%. Cognex’s quarterly revenue was up 32.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.22 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Cognex will post $1.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, March 3rd were paid a dividend of $0.075 per share. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.37%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 1st. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.13%.

In other Cognex news, CEO Robert Willett sold 50,000 shares of Cognex stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $77.75, for a total transaction of $3,887,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,887,500. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Patrick Alias sold 5,000 shares of Cognex stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $77.85, for a total transaction of $389,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 5,000 shares in the company, valued at $389,250. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 105,000 shares of company stock worth $8,311,250 over the last ninety days. 6.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Flinton Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Cognex during the fourth quarter worth approximately $148,000. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its stake in Cognex by 1,140.7% in the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 3,015 shares of the company’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 2,772 shares during the period. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Cognex by 9.9% in the fourth quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 3,165 shares of the company’s stock worth $202,000 after buying an additional 286 shares during the period. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp bought a new stake in Cognex during the third quarter worth about $206,000. Finally, Forbes J M & Co. LLP bought a new stake in Cognex during the fourth quarter worth about $208,000. 90.00% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Cognex

Cognex Corporation (Cognex) is a provider of machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks, primarily in manufacturing processes, where vision is required. The Company operates through the machine vision technology segment. The Company’s machine vision products are used to automate the manufacture and tracking of discrete items, such as mobile phones, aspirin bottles and automobile tires, by locating, identifying, inspecting and measuring them during the manufacturing or distribution process.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:CGNX

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