Cognex takes additional measures to cut costs

APRIL 22, 2009--The company says that its recent round of cost-cutting is intended to "more closely align" its costs with reduced demand for its products.

APRIL 22, 2009--Machine-vision sensor and system developer Cognex (Natick, MA, USA; has announced that due to the global business environment it has taken steps to cut expenses by an additional $15 million on an annualized basis.

These actions, which augment those taken by the company in November 2008, include cuts in certain executive salaries, the elimination of approximately 85 employees and contractors, the cancellation of most current open positions, additional mandatory shut-down days, a reduction in leased office space, a lower company contribution to the 401(k) plan, and decreases in discretionary spending. As a result of these actions, Cognex expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $4 million in the second quarter of 2009.

"In late 2008, it became clear to us that the slumping global economy would negatively impact our business. Based on that, we reduced our expenses in anticipation of lower revenue in 2009," says Robert J. Shillman, chairman and CEO of Cognex. "Unfortunately, conditions have deteriorated beyond what we had anticipated last fall, and because we currently see no sign of improvement in the near term, we are taking the additional steps announced today to more closely align our costs with the decreased level of demand for our products."

Shillman continues, "Although the anticipated savings from these cost-cutting measures are substantial, unless the business climate improves significantly, they are unlikely to be sufficient to guarantee our profitabilty for 2009. Although profitability is very important to us, the deeper cuts that would have been required to achieve it would have required delaying or even eliminating programs that we believe are crucial to the long-term success of our company. Thankfully, because of our past profitable history and our conservative financial management, we have built a strong balance sheet with a large cash reserve that we have been saving for a rainy day...and, unfortunately, that day has come."

-- Posted by Vision Systems Design,

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