Cognex (CGNX) Shares Gap Down to $58.80

Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) gapped down prior to trading on Monday . The stock had previously closed at $64.85, but opened at $58.80. Cognex shares last traded at $55.77, with a volume of 8244500 shares trading hands.

A number of research firms have recently commented on CGNX. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Cognex from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $62.50 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Cognex from a “strong-buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 8th. Deutsche Bank set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Cognex and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their target price on shares of Cognex from $50.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Cognex currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $66.83.

The company has a market cap of $9,660.00, a P/E ratio of 56.91 and a beta of 1.44.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $180.37 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $178.75 million. Cognex had a net margin of 23.69% and a return on equity of 24.23%. Cognex’s revenue was up 39.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.20 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Cognex Co. will post 1.48 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 16th. Investors of record on Friday, March 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.045 per share. This represents a $0.18 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.32%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, March 1st. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio is presently 18.37%.

Cognex declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, February 15th that authorizes the company to buyback $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the scientific and technical instruments company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director Patrick Alias sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $143.54, for a total transaction of $717,700.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 5.60% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CGNX. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Cognex by 128.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 15,768,475 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $964,400,000 after buying an additional 8,852,130 shares in the last quarter. Brown Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Cognex by 68.0% in the fourth quarter. Brown Capital Management LLC now owns 6,736,963 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $412,033,000 after buying an additional 2,725,974 shares in the last quarter. Carillon Tower Advisers Inc. bought a new position in shares of Cognex in the fourth quarter valued at $117,444,000. Eagle Asset Management Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Cognex by 87.3% in the fourth quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,830,892 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $172,502,000 after buying an additional 1,319,135 shares in the last quarter. Finally, OppenheimerFunds Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Cognex by 63.2% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 2,914,913 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $178,276,000 after buying an additional 1,128,402 shares in the last quarter. 64.08% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

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