Morgan Stanley Lowers Cognex (CGNX) Price Target to $40.00

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) had its price objective trimmed by Morgan Stanley from $52.00 to $40.00 in a report issued on Tuesday. The firm currently has an equal weight rating on the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on CGNX. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Cognex from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 3rd. BidaskClub upgraded Cognex from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, July 7th. ValuEngine downgraded Cognex from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Robert W. Baird restated a hold rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Cognex in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Finally, Northcoast Research set a $56.00 price objective on Cognex and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.55.

Cognex stock traded up $0.20 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $46.57. 2,157,007 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,778,797. Cognex has a 52 week low of $36.16 and a 52 week high of $72.99. The company has a market capitalization of $7.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 32.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 1.90.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.08. Cognex had a return on equity of 20.88% and a net margin of 18.52%. The business had revenue of $232.22 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $227.15 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.14 earnings per share. Cognex’s revenue was down 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Cognex will post 1.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 16th will be paid a $0.05 dividend. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 15th. This is an increase from Cognex’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio is 12.41%.

Cognex declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Monday, October 29th that allows the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the scientific and technical instruments company to buy up to 2.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Anthony Sun sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.04, for a total transaction of $560,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 264,262 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,809,242.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jerry A. Schneider sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total value of $271,450.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 7,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $380,030. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 25,000 shares of company stock valued at $1,361,950 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 5.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 6.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 17,769,276 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $792,687,000 after acquiring an additional 1,060,494 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 15.8% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,260,702 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $368,509,000 after acquiring an additional 1,124,420 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 103.1% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,797,355 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $214,025,000 after acquiring an additional 2,435,314 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 41.4% during the 2nd quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,345,230 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $149,230,000 after acquiring an additional 980,194 shares during the period. Finally, Joho Capital LLC grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 24.1% during the 2nd quarter. Joho Capital LLC now owns 3,069,024 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $136,909,000 after acquiring an additional 595,358 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 90.25% of the company’s stock.

Cognex Company Profile

Cognex Corporation provides machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks primarily in manufacturing processes worldwide. The company offers machine vision products, which are used to automate the manufacturing 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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