Monday, October 29, 2012

Q3 Results from Cognex

If you haven't already heard, Cognex reported solid numbers for the third quarter of 2012. Revenue (sales) was flat compared to the same period in 2011, while income (profit) was down just 1%. Comparing the first nine months, 2012 is looking a little better than '11, although we must remember that every year seems to be a good year for Cognex.

R&D expenditure, (the number I use as an indicator of new products in the pipeline,) has been pretty flat all year, suggesting the pace is being maintained but not accelerated. I guess when you're number one, all you have to do is stay ahead of the competition.

One point that I keep returning to is the amount of cash Cognex keeps in the bank. Right now they're sitting on $416m, up from $357m at the end of last year. That's right, nearly half a billion dollars in the bank!

If I worked at Cognex, (and I am available!) I'd be looking for a way to make that pot of gold work a little harder. We've seen some consolidation in the machine vision business of late. I can't help thinking that if the people in Natick don't put that money to use, (R&D or acquisitions,) someone is going to do it for them.

Time will tell.

No comments: