Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $48.00 price target on the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 10.65% from the company’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. “

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on CGNX. BidaskClub upgraded Cognex from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. Needham & Company LLC lowered their price objective on Cognex from $52.00 to $45.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 30th. Daiwa Capital Markets set a $49.00 price objective on Cognex and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. DA Davidson began coverage on Cognex in a research report on Tuesday, October 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, 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. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.55.

Cognex stock traded up $0.48 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $43.38. The company had a trading volume of 1,191,486 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,287,137. Cognex has a 12-month low of $34.88 and a 12-month high of $64.75. The firm has a market cap of $7.46 billion, a PE ratio of 29.92, a P/E/G ratio of 2.25 and a beta of 1.79.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 29th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.45 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 for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $227.15 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.14 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 12.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Cognex will post 1.21 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. CWM LLC lifted its position in shares of Cognex by 1,952.6% during the 4th quarter. CWM LLC now owns 780 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 742 shares in the last quarter. CAPROCK Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Cognex during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $221,000. Chatham Capital Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Cognex during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $232,000. HMS Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Cognex during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $242,000. Finally, Advisor Partners LLC lifted its position in shares of Cognex by 19.8% during the 4th quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 5,541 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $214,000 after buying an additional 915 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 90.85% 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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