Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $53.00 target price on the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 10.53% from the stock’s previous close.

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. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Cognex from $52.00 to $40.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. BidaskClub downgraded Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 13th. Berenberg Bank began coverage on Cognex in a research report on Monday, November 19th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price objective on the stock. Needham & Company LLC upgraded Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Finally, Daiwa Capital Markets set a $49.00 price objective on Cognex and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.01.

Shares of Cognex stock traded up $1.02 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $47.95. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,358,958 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,230,549. Cognex has a 12-month low of $34.88 and a 12-month high of $60.47. The company has a market capitalization of $8.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.07, a PEG ratio of 2.42 and a beta of 1.89.

Cognex announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Monday, October 29th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the scientific and technical instruments company to repurchase up to 2.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of CGNX. State of Tennessee Treasury Department grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 2.0% during the fourth quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 59,793 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $2,312,000 after buying an additional 1,189 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 34.9% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 18,537 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $717,000 after buying an additional 4,792 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 10.3% during the fourth quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 156,000 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $6,033,000 after buying an additional 14,613 shares during the last quarter. Bremer Trust National Association bought a new position in shares of Cognex during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $44,000. Finally, Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Cognex by 59.2% during the fourth quarter. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. now owns 11,382 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $440,000 after buying an additional 4,233 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.30% of the company’s stock.

About Cognex

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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