Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its position in shares of Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) by 71.3% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,890,121 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after buying an additional 786,958 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. owned approximately 1.09% of Cognex worth $115,600,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in CGNX. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. boosted its position in Cognex by 99.9% in the 3rd quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 2,399 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $264,000 after buying an additional 1,199 shares during the last quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Cognex by 7.5% in the 3rd quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 6,416 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $708,000 after buying an additional 447 shares during the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. lifted its position in shares of Cognex by 1,209.3% during the third quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 59,324 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $6,542,000 after purchasing an additional 54,793 shares during the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama lifted its position in shares of Cognex by 20.1% during the third quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 134,202 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $14,800,000 after purchasing an additional 22,501 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. lifted its position in shares of Cognex by 1,407.4% during the third quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 111,850 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $12,335,000 after purchasing an additional 104,430 shares during the last quarter. 82.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Cognex stock opened at $49.29 on Friday. Cognex Co. has a 52 week low of $39.74 and a 52 week high of $72.99. The company has a market capitalization of $8,674.02, a P/E ratio of 33.99 and a beta of 1.58.
Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.30 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $180.37 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $178.75 million. Cognex had a net margin of 23.69% and a return on equity of 24.23%. The company’s revenue was up 39.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.20 EPS. analysts forecast that Cognex Co. will post 1.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Cognex announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that allows the company to buyback $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the scientific and technical instruments company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, March 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.045 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, March 1st. This represents a $0.18 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.37%. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio is currently 12.41%.
In other Cognex news, Director Anthony Sun sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.49, for a total value of $564,900.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 294,262 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,622,860.38. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 5.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
CGNX has been the topic of several research reports. Northcoast Research upgraded shares of Cognex from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank set a $80.00 price objective on shares of Cognex and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 19th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cognex from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase upgraded shares of Cognex from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Cognex presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $66.92.
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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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