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Cognex Shares Down 10% On Weak Outlook

Shares of Cognex Corp. (CGNX) Monday slipped nearly 10% in the extended trading session after the company detailed a weak outlook for the fourth quarter hurt largely by slower spending of Chinese customers.

Cognex's third-quarter profit dropped to $80.4 million or $0.45 per share from $102.5 million or $0.57 per share last year. Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.39 per share, down from $0.51 per share last year. On average, 11 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.37 per share for the quarter.

Revenues for the quarter rose to $232.2 million from $266.0 million last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $227.36 million for the quarter.

"Our results for Q3-18 were very good," said Dr. Robert Shillman, Chairman of Cognex. "We reported the second-best quarterly revenue, net income and earnings per share from continuing operations in our company's 37-year history. These results were surpassed only by our spectacular performance in last year's third quarter, which was driven by exceptional growth across our business, particularly in our largest end market—consumer electronics."

Looking forward, Willett said, "While we are pleased with our Q3-18 results, slower spending trends that we are experiencing in China have reduced our revenue outlook for Q4-18."

Cognex expects fourth-quarter revenues of $180 million to $190 million. Analysts currently estimate revenues of $200.09 million.

The company said the outlook is lower than its long-term growth target due to both the slower spending by customers in China and a lingering headwind from last year's high level of investment by large OLED display and smartphone manufacturers.

Further, Cognex increased its quarterly dividend by 11% to $0.05 per share, payable on November 30, 2018 to all shareholders of record on November 16, 2018. The Board also authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million of Cognex stock in open market transactions.

CGNX closed Monday's trading at $39.61, down $1.63 or 3.95%. The stock further dropped $3.78 or 9.54% in the after-hours trading.

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