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Cognex, the Natick, Mass.-based provider of machine vision systems commonly used in automation applications, reported record revenue of $285 million in the third quarter of 2021. This marked an increase of 13% from the third quarter of 2020 and 6% from the second quarter of 2021.
Cognex said that, as expected, growth in logistics, automotive, and other markets on a year-on-year basis was substantially offset by lower revenue from customers in consumer electronics.
“We are pleased to report the highest quarterly revenue in our company’s 40-year history, surpassing the prior record set last quarter,” said Robert Willett, CEO, Cognex. “We were also highly profitable and reported an operating margin of 31%, which is above our 30% long-term target. And we were able to accomplish these achievements while operating in a very challenging supply environment.”
Logistics was again Cognex’s largest end market in Q3 and the biggest growth driver. It reported another record revenue quarter in logistics, beating the prior record set last quarter. Cognex said demand continues to be strong, particularly in the e-commerce sector where Cognex is recognized as a leader in machine vision. Cognex noted that e-commerce and omnichannel retailers are continuing to invest in automation.
Looking ahead to Q4 2021, Cognex said it anticipates revenue will be between $210-$230 million, which is roughly flat at the mid-point compared with a high-growth quarter reported in Q4 2020. Like many other companies, Cognex said supply issues are becoming an issue.
“In regard to supply, we believe we have been managing global chip shortages relatively well so far,” said Willett. “However, the constraints are beginning to hold back revenue growth and drive cost increases more noticeably. Demand from customers is high and meeting their needs remains our top priority as we work through this situation.”
Despite the supply issues, Cognex said several macro trends will continue to benefit the company for the foreseeable future. These include the rise of e-commerce, the transition to electric vehicles and the shortening of supply chains, as well as cost pressure and labor shortages that are increasing the adoption of automation.