NEW YORK (
) -- Maybe manufacturing really is in decent shape.
Late last week, the broad market got a lift from news that durable orders were better than expected in August. Now comes an impressive outlook from
, which makes machine vision sensor equipment used to automate factory tasks. The Natick, Mass.-based company said it now sees revenue of between $74 million and $78 million for its fiscal third quarter ending this month.
That view compares to the company's prior projection for revenue of $65 million to $68 million in the period, dated to August 2. Cognex cited strong demand for its factory automation products, which comprised 69% of revenue in the second quarter.
"Typically, we see a notable softness in the order rate during the summer months, especially from Factory Automation customers based in Europe, but that seasonal trend did not occur this year," said Robert Shillman, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Instead, bookings were considerably better than what we had anticipated. As a result, we expect to set a new record for quarterly revenue in the current third quarter."
The stock was last quoted at $24.44, up 6.8%, in extended trading, according to
, with volume of a little less than 20,000. The shares added 9 cents in the regular session to finish at $22.89, up nearly 29% so far in 2010. If the move higher in late trades holds during Tuesday's trading, the stock will blow through the 52-week high of $23.13 it set on Sept. 14.
The higher outlook comes ahead of Cognex's analyst day on Tuesday, when it plans to meet with both institutional investors and sell-side analysts. Wall Street's current consensus expectation for the third quarter is for earnings of 25 cents a share on revenue of $66.5 million. Right now, five of the six analysts covering the company have it rated at buy (3) or strong buy (2).
Of the big movers to the downside,
American Capital Agency Corp.
stood out. Both companies announced plans to sell more stock, rarely a popular move among existing shareholders, whose investments get diluted.
Entropic said it's looking to sell an additional 10 million common shares, the same amount that American Capital is offering. Entropic's stock was off 5.6% to $9.25 on afterhours volume of around 70,000, while American Capital shares were down 4.3% to $26.78 on volume of more than 230,000.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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