Virtu Financial LLC boosted its position in Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) by 42.5% in the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 13,331 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,975 shares during the period. Virtu Financial LLC’s holdings in Cognex were worth $744,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in Cognex in the 2nd quarter worth about $1,370,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in Cognex by 64.3% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 52,828 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $2,357,000 after purchasing an additional 20,668 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. boosted its stake in Cognex by 150.4% in the 2nd quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 13,897 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $620,000 after purchasing an additional 8,347 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD boosted its stake in Cognex by 23.5% in the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 14,061 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $627,000 after purchasing an additional 2,672 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Cognex by 21.3% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 13,328 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $815,000 after purchasing an additional 2,344 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.02% of the company’s stock.

In other Cognex news, Director Anthony Sun sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.04, for a total value of $560,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 264,262 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,809,242.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Jerry A. Schneider sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.29, for a total value of $271,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 7,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $380,030. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on CGNX. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Cognex from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of Cognex in a research note on Monday, November 19th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $54.00 price target on the stock. Daiwa Capital Markets set a $49.00 price target on shares of Cognex and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Cognex from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of Cognex from $52.00 to $40.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Cognex has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $51.76.

Shares of NASDAQ:CGNX opened at $45.01 on Thursday. Cognex Co. has a fifty-two week low of $36.16 and a fifty-two week high of $70.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.50 and a beta of 1.90.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last issued its earnings results on Monday, October 29th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.45 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 analyst estimates of $227.15 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.14 EPS. Cognex’s revenue was down 12.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Cognex Co. will post 1.2 earnings per share for the current year.

Cognex announced that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Monday, October 29th that allows the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the scientific and technical instruments company to buy up to 2.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 16th were given a $0.05 dividend. This is a positive change from Cognex’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.05. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 15th. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.44%. Cognex’s payout ratio is 13.79%.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX)

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