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Cognex Co. (NASDAQ:CGNX) hit a new 52-week high on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $83.32 and last traded at $83.16, with a volume of 2914 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $81.68.

A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Stephens started coverage on Cognex in a report on Friday, October 16th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $85.00 target price on the stock. Robert W. Baird upgraded Cognex from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 29th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Cognex from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 29th. TheStreet upgraded Cognex from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Friday, October 30th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Cognex from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $61.00.

The firm has a market capitalization of $14.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 78.43 and a beta of 1.64. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $76.93 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $68.18.

Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 28th. The scientific and technical instruments company reported $0.49 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $251.07 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $213.73 million. Cognex had a return on equity of 13.45% and a net margin of 24.72%. On average, equities analysts predict that Cognex Co. will post 0.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a None dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 28th. Stockholders of record on Monday, December 14th were paid a dividend of $2.00 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 11th. Cognex’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.69%.

In other news, Director Patrick Alias sold 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.71, for a total value of $727,100.00. Also, CEO Robert Willett sold 160,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.04, for a total value of $11,366,400.00. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 407,400 shares of company stock valued at $29,351,115. Corporate insiders own 5.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CGNX. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC boosted its position in shares of Cognex by 474.4% in the third quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 861,320 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $56,072,000 after buying an additional 711,361 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale boosted its stake in shares of Cognex by 1,281.3% in the 3rd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 633,447 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $40,117,000 after purchasing an additional 587,589 shares in the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC lifted its position in shares of Cognex by 81.2% in the 3rd quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 857,297 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $55,810,000 after purchasing an additional 384,129 shares during the period. Standard Life Aberdeen plc increased its stake in shares of Cognex by 2,555.8% in the 3rd quarter. Standard Life Aberdeen plc now owns 266,453 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock worth $17,346,000 after acquiring an additional 256,420 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake in Cognex by 15.7% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,049,667 shares of the scientific and technical instruments company’s stock valued at $68,332,000 after purchasing an additional 142,113 shares in the last quarter. 91.47% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX)

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 manufacture 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.

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