Stock Analysis

Cognex Corporation's (NASDAQ:CGNX) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

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NasdaqGS:CGNX
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Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 26% over the last three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Cognex's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

Check out our latest analysis for Cognex

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Cognex is:

12% = US$187m ÷ US$1.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.12 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

A Side By Side comparison of Cognex's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

At first glance, Cognex seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 9.5%. This probably laid the ground for Cognex's moderate 9.5% net income growth seen over the past five years.

We then performed a comparison between Cognex's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 10% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:CGNX Past Earnings Growth December 8th 2020

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Cognex is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Cognex Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Cognex has a low three-year median payout ratio of 18%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 82% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.

Moreover, Cognex is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 18%. As a result, Cognex's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 13% for future ROE.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Cognex's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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What are the risks and opportunities for Cognex?

Cognex Corporation provides machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate manufacturing and distribution tasks worldwide.

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Rewards

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 13.85% per year

Risks

No risks detected for CGNX from our risks checks.

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