Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX) and Rudolph Technologies (NYSE:RTEC) are both computer and technology companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, valuation, dividends, profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership and risk.

Volatility and Risk

Cognex Corporation has a beta of 1.4, indicating that its share price is 40% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Rudolph Technologies has a beta of 1.12, indicating that its share price is 12% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

87.3% of Cognex Corporation shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 91.9% of Rudolph Technologies shares are held by institutional investors. 5.6% of Cognex Corporation shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Rudolph Technologies shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Cognex Corporation and Rudolph Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cognex Corporation $585.12 million 15.89 $207.39 million $2.18 49.28
Rudolph Technologies $243.81 million 2.86 $47.48 million $1.00 22.10

Cognex Corporation has higher revenue and earnings than Rudolph Technologies. Rudolph Technologies is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Cognex Corporation, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

Cognex Corporation pays an annual dividend of $0.34 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.3%. Rudolph Technologies does not pay a dividend. Cognex Corporation pays out 15.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Profitability

This table compares Cognex Corporation and Rudolph Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cognex Corporation 33.10% 19.51% 17.95%
Rudolph Technologies 13.02% 10.36% 8.87%

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Cognex Corporation and Rudolph Technologies, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Cognex Corporation 0 5 5 0 2.50
Rudolph Technologies 1 0 4 0 2.60

Cognex Corporation presently has a consensus price target of $77.71, suggesting a potential downside of 27.65%. Rudolph Technologies has a consensus price target of $27.25, suggesting a potential upside of 23.30%. Given Rudolph Technologies’ stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Rudolph Technologies is more favorable than Cognex Corporation.

Summary

Cognex Corporation beats Rudolph Technologies on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cognex Corporation Company Profile

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.

Rudolph Technologies Company Profile

Rudolph Technologies, Inc. (Rudolph) is engaged in the design, development, manufacture and support of process control defect inspection and metrology, advanced packaging lithography, and data analysis systems and software used by microelectronics device manufacturers. The Company provides process and yield management solutions used in both wafer processing and final manufacturing through a family of standalone systems for macro-defect inspection, lithography, probe card test and analysis, and transparent and opaque thin film measurements. It offers Process Control Business, Lithography Business and Integrated Software Solutions. Rudolph markets and sells products to logic, memory, data storage, flat panel, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) device and packaging manufacturers. Its products include AMX 6000 Series, Explorer Inspection Platform, MetaPULSE System, Wafer Scanner Inspection System, GateWay Software, Yield Optimizer Software and Process Sentinel Software.

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