Morgan Stanley lowered its stake in shares of Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) by 48.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 539,445 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock after selling 510,222 shares during the quarter. Morgan Stanley owned about 0.31% of Cognex worth $43,310,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. CI Investments Inc. increased its position in Cognex by 29.8% during the 4th quarter. CI Investments Inc. now owns 583 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $47,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. Arkadios Wealth Advisors increased its position in Cognex by 240.0% during the 4th quarter. Arkadios Wealth Advisors now owns 680 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $54,000 after purchasing an additional 480 shares in the last quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd increased its position in Cognex by 110.3% during the 4th quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd now owns 1,386 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 727 shares in the last quarter. HHM Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Cognex during the 4th quarter worth approximately $122,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp increased its position in Cognex by 65.1% during the 4th quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 1,672 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $134,000 after purchasing an additional 659 shares in the last quarter. 91.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ CGNX opened at $82.45 on Thursday. Cognex Co. has a 1-year low of $44.23 and a 1-year high of $101.82. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $81.99 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $77.42. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.56 billion, a PE ratio of 77.78 and a beta of 1.64.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 10th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.32 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $223.62 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $206.81 million. Cognex had a return on equity of 13.45% and a net margin of 24.72%. On average, equities research analysts predict that Cognex Co. will post 0.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 12th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 26th were issued a dividend of $0.06 per share. This represents a $0.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 25th. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.69%.

In related news, Director Jerry A. Schneider sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $82.26, for a total transaction of $411,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $411,300. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Dianne M. Parrotte sold 9,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.06, for a total value of $853,188.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,600 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $400,476. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 129,800 shares of company stock worth $10,781,888 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 5.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on CGNX. Raymond James increased their target price on shares of Cognex from $75.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, February 12th. Cowen upped their price target on Cognex from $85.00 to $105.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 12th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Cognex from $62.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, February 18th. Finally, HSBC upgraded Cognex from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 14th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $71.90.

Cognex Profile

Cognex Corporation provides machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate manufacturing and distribution tasks worldwide. Its machine vision products are used to automate the manufacturing and tracking of discrete items, including mobile phones, aspirin bottles, and automobile tires by locating, identifying, inspecting, and measuring them during the manufacturing or distribution process.

Featured Story: Coverage Ratio

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX)

Receive News & Ratings for Cognex Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Cognex and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.