February 16, 2018

Cognex reports record financial year

File Photo
Cognex makes machine-vision technology such as this hand-held terminal.

Despite a hefty tax bill due to new tax laws, Natick-based electronics manufacturer Cognex reported a record year in 2017, including revenues of $748 million, a 44 percent increase from 2016.

According to the company's earnings report released Thursday, the company set all-time highs for annual revenue, net income and earnings per share from continuing operations.

Net income for the year was just over $177.2 million, even with an $83 million one-time tax expense due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in the fourth quarter. Even with that tax bill, net income increased by $27 million.

Due to the tax bill, the company actually reported a loss of just under $27 million in the fourth quarter despite raising revenue by 39 percent from 2016's fourth quarter. In the third quarter, however, the company saw a net income of $102.3 million.

Per share, net income was $1.02, up from 88 cents in 2016.

Looking ahead, the company is expected a first-quarter revenue gain of between 19 and 26 percent.

In a statement with the report, CEO Robert Willett said the strong year reflects the hard work of the company and its employees around the world.

"We celebrate our success while staying focused on the long term," he said. "We believe the markets for our products continue to have significant growth potential as manufacturers look to automate a broadening range of industrial tasks."

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