Eagle Asset Management Inc. cut its stake in shares of Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) by 16.5% in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 2,365,036 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after selling 465,856 shares during the quarter. Cognex accounts for approximately 0.7% of Eagle Asset Management Inc.’s holdings, making the stock its 24th biggest holding. Eagle Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Cognex were worth $122,958,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in CGNX. Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services LLC bought a new position in Cognex during the fourth quarter worth about $1,079,000. Unio Capital LLC bought a new position in Cognex during the fourth quarter worth about $1,055,000. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in Cognex by 64.0% during the fourth quarter. Hermes Investment Management Ltd. now owns 1,354,547 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $82,844,000 after acquiring an additional 528,786 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. lifted its holdings in Cognex by 40.6% during the fourth quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 115,002 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $7,034,000 after acquiring an additional 33,221 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Private Trust Co. NA bought a new position in Cognex during the fourth quarter worth about $203,000. 82.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

CGNX has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank set a $80.00 target price on Cognex and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 19th. BidaskClub lowered Cognex from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 26th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Cognex from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. ValuEngine lowered Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, March 1st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase upgraded Cognex from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.21.

In other news, Director Anthony Sun sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 12th. The stock was 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 $16,622,860.38. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 5.40% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Cognex opened at $46.76 on Friday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.35 billion, a PE ratio of 34.60 and a beta of 1.61. Cognex Co. has a one year low of $46.88 and a one year high of $47.77.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.30 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $180.37 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $178.75 million. Cognex had a return on equity of 23.08% and a net margin of 21.56%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 39.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.20 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Cognex Co. will post 1.15 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 18th will be issued a $0.045 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 17th. This represents a $0.18 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.38%. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 12.41%.

Cognex announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, February 15th that permits the company to repurchase $150.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the scientific and technical instruments company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Cognex 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX)

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