Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX) and Cascade Microtech (NASDAQ:CSCD) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the better investment? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitabiliy, dividends, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, analyst recommendations and earnings.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

88.2% of Cognex Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. 5.6% of Cognex Corporation shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.


Cognex Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.34 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.4%. Cascade Microtech does not pay a dividend. Cognex Corporation pays out 16.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.


This table compares Cognex Corporation and Cascade Microtech’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cognex Corporation 32.23% 18.99% 17.54%
Cascade Microtech 5.72% 7.19% 5.97%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent recommendations and price targets for Cognex Corporation and Cascade Microtech, as provided by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cognex Corporation 0 5 4 0 2.44
Cascade Microtech 1 0 4 0 2.60

Cognex Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $72.71, indicating a potential downside of 20.83%. Cascade Microtech has a consensus price target of $13.31, indicating a potential downside of 39.21%. Given Cognex Corporation’s higher possible upside, research analysts plainly believe Cognex Corporation is more favorable than Cascade Microtech.

Earnings and Valuation

This table compares Cognex Corporation and Cascade Microtech’s top-line revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cognex Corporation $559.49 million 14.22 $197.09 million $2.04 45.02
Cascade Microtech N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Cognex Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Cascade Microtech.


Cognex Corporation beats Cascade Microtech on 8 of the 10 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Cognex Corporation

Cognex Corporation (Cognex) is a provider of machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information in order to automate tasks, primarily in manufacturing processes, where vision is required. The Company operates through the machine vision technology segment. The Company’s machine vision products are used to automate the manufacture and tracking of discrete items, such as mobile phones, aspirin bottles and automobile tires, by locating, identifying, inspecting and measuring them during the manufacturing or distribution process. The Company’s products include vision software, vision systems, vision sensors and identification (ID) products. Its products range from vision sensors that are integrated, to personal computer (PC)-based systems for users. Its products also have a range of physical forms, depending upon the user’s need. Cognex sells its products through a direct sales force, as well as through a global network of integration and distribution partners.

About Cascade Microtech

Cascade Microtech, Inc. is a designer, developer, manufacturer and marketer of wafer probing, thermal and reliability solutions for the electrical measurement and testing of semiconductor devices. The Company operates in two business segments: Systems and Probes. The Systems business segment is engaged in the sale of probe stations, thermal subsystems and reliability test systems. The Probes segment is engaged in the sale of analytical probes and production probe cards. The Company designs, manufactures and sells multiple product lines, including probe stations, thermal subsystems, reliability test systems, analytical probes, production probe cards, and various services and accessories. Probing systems are used in the development of semiconductor processes and designs. The 1164 Reliability Test System is a modular and scalable test platform that can be used in a range of reliability test applications.

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