Cognex year-end results mixed, forecast growth in factory automation

JANUARY 25--Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA, USA; www.cognex.com) has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2006.

JANUARY 25--Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA, USA; www.cognex.com) has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2006. For the year ending in December 2006, Cognex reported net income of $39,912,000 on revenue of $238,915,000, compared to net income of $35,702,000 on revenue of $216,875,000 in 2005. For the first quarter of 2007, Cognex expects revenue to be between $55 million and $58 million. Gross margin is expected to be in the low-70% range. Operating expenses are expected to be essentially flat on a sequential basis. Earnings for the first quarter of 2007 are expected to be between $0.12 and $0.16 per diluted share.

"Although I am disappointed by the level of business in the fourth quarter, there was some good news to report," said Robert J. Shillman, Cognex chairman and chief executive officer. "First, revenue and earnings per share for the quarter were within our guidance, which was reassuring. And second, net income, excluding stock-option expense, was equal to 20% of revenue (or 16% including stock option expense), which is a long-standing target for Cognex."

Shillman continued, "For Q1 of 2007, we believe that revenue from the factory-automation market will increase year-on-year, but, unfortunately, that increase will not be enough to offset the expected decline in the semiconductor and electronics industries, which are among the largest users of Cognex products. Going forward, we intend to kick off a number of new sales and marketing initiatives in early 2007 that should help grow revenue outside of that cyclical market as the year progresses."

In addition, the company announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.085 per share. This dividend is payable on February 23, 2007, to all shareholders of record at the close of business on February 9, 2007. This is Cognex's 15th consecutive quarterly cash dividend.

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