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Consumer electronics boosts Q3 revenue for Cognex

Large orders in the consumer electronics industry and strong performance in the automotive and logistics sectors have led to machine vision firm Cognex experiencing record results in the third quarter of 2017, ending 1 October. Revenue of $260 million and a net income of $102.3 million was generated, an increase of 76 per cent and 91 per cent year-over-year respectively, and increases of 50 per cent and 83 per cent compared to the results of the second quarter.

‘Cognex reported record-breaking revenue, net income and earnings per share that far exceeded the prior records set just last quarter … we were extremely profitable,’ commented Dr Robert Shillman, founder and chairman of Cognex. 

As of 1 October, the company’s financial position is particularly strong, with $771 million in cash and investments – up $26 million from the end of 2016 – and no debt.

The firm’s research, development and engineering (RD&E) expenses increased 40 per cent year-over-year thanks to additional engineering resources – including employees added from recent acquisitions – as it continued to invest in both current and new products. Inventories therefore increased by 78 per cent ($21 million) from the end of 2016 to support new product introductions, in addition to Cognex’s substantially higher level of business.

Cognex grew 16 per cent in 2016, acquiring four companies in that year, and a fifth, the deep learning specialist ViDi Systems, in April 2017.

Revenue for the fourth quarter is expected to be between $170 million and $180 million, with $52 million of unbilled revenue from 1 October to be invoiced largely throughout the period. While this range represents a decline from the third quarter thanks to the timing of large orders from the consumer electronics industry, it nevertheless represents expected growth exceeding 30 per cent year-over-year.

‘Our view of the future continues to be positive as more automation processes that include machine vision are needed to perform an increasing array of complex manufacturing tasks,’ commented Cognex CEO Robert Willett. ‘We are investing to take advantage of the substantial potential that we see for our company going forward.’

Cognex has also promoted Sheila DiPalma to senior vice president of corporate employee services.

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