Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets machine vision systems, or computers that can see. Cognex is the world’s leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped more than 200,000 vision systems, representing nearly $1.5 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company’s founding time. Cognex’s Modular Vision Systems Division, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, specializes in machine vision systems that are used for automating the manufacture of a wide range of discrete items and for assuring their quality. Cognex’s Surface Inspection Systems Division, headquartered in Alameda, California, specializes in machine vision systems that are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, papers and plastics. “

CGNX has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley set a $47.00 target price on Cognex and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, November 1st. UBS Group started coverage on Cognex in a research report on Thursday, December 12th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine raised Cognex from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, January 31st. Needham & Company LLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Cognex in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Cognex from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.30.

Shares of NASDAQ CGNX traded up $0.30 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $53.76. The company had a trading volume of 1,763,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 894,384. Cognex has a one year low of $39.98 and a one year high of $59.14. The company has a quick ratio of 6.90, a current ratio of 7.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.01. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $55.36 and its 200-day moving average price is $50.61. The stock has a market cap of $9.18 billion, a PE ratio of 55.42 and a beta of 2.07.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 13th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by ($0.02). Cognex had a net margin of 22.55% and a return on equity of 14.21%. The company had revenue of $169.77 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $161.20 million. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Cognex will post 0.82 EPS for the current year.

In other Cognex news, CEO Robert Willett sold 70,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.82, for a total transaction of $3,627,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 70,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,627,400. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 5.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Cognex by 8.3% during the 4th quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 18,232 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $1,022,000 after acquiring an additional 1,405 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 31.7% in the 4th quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 4,952 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $280,000 after buying an additional 1,193 shares during the last quarter. Orion Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Cognex in the 4th quarter worth approximately $29,000. Castleark Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Cognex in the 4th quarter worth approximately $1,987,000. Finally, AQR Capital Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 24.8% in the 4th quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 589,421 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $33,031,000 after buying an additional 117,193 shares during the last quarter. 91.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Cognex

Cognex Corporation provides machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks primarily in manufacturing processes worldwide. It provides machine vision products, which are used to automate the manufacture and tracking of discrete items, including mobile phones, aspirin bottles, and automobile tires by locating, identifying, inspecting, and measuring them during the manufacturing or distribution process.

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