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Cognex Corporation Announces 1999 Results

Cognex Corporation

Machine Vision Company Reports Record Revenue for Fourth Quarter of 1999

NATICK, MA, January 27, 2000-Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ: CGNX) today announced revenue for the year ended December 31, 1999 of $152,125,000, a 25% increase from 1998's revenue of $121,844,000.  Cognex reported net income for the year ended December 31, 1999 of $30,445,000, or $0.69 per diluted share, a 51% increase over the $20,203,000, or $0.47 per diluted share, reported in 1998.  Reported results for 1998 include a pre-tax charge of $2,100,000 for in-process R&D associated with certain machine vision technologies purchased in 1998.  Excluding this charge, net income for 1999 increased by 40%, or $0.19 per diluted share, from 1998.

For the fourth quarter of 1999, Cognex reported the highest quarterly revenue in the company's 19-year history.  Revenue for the quarter increased 93% to $48,323,000 from $25,093,000 for the same period a year ago.  Net income for 1999's fourth quarter increased by 456% to $12,186,000, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with net income of $2,193,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 1998.
  
"We are very pleased to report significant increases in revenues and profits for both the fourth quarter and full year of 1999," said Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Cognex's President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman.  "In addition to setting a new record for quarterly revenue in the fourth quarter, we also achieved other exciting milestones in 1999.  The order rate for 1999 was the highest experienced by the company.  And, we ended the year with a record backlog of $36.8 million, a 114% increase over 1998's ending backlog of $17.2 million." 

Dr. Shillman continued, "In recent weeks, the level of customer demand, primarily from our core OEM customers who make capital equipment for the semiconductor industry, has accelerated.  Based upon those order trends continuing, and on our current expectations for increasing demand for our end-user products, we now project that for the year 2000, our revenue will exceed $200 million and that our earnings per share will exceed $1.20."

Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufactures, and markets machine vision systems, or computers that can 'see.'  Cognex is the world's leader in the machine vision industry, having shipped to date more than 100,000 machine vision systems.  Cognex's Modular Vision Systems Division, headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts, specializes in machine vision systems which are used for automating the manufacture of a wide range of discrete items and for assuring their quality.  Cognex's Surface Inspection Systems Division, headquartered in Alameda, California, specializes in machine vision systems which are used for inspecting the surfaces of products manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, and plastics.  In addition to its corporate headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, Cognex also has regional offices located throughout North America, Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia.  Visit Cognex on-line at http://www.cognex.com.

Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements.  These statements are based on the company's current expectations and estimates as to prospective events and circumstances which may or may not be in the company's control and as to which there can be no firm assurances given.  These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated.  The company wishes to caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made.  The company disclaims any obligation subsequently to revise forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of such statements or to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events.  Further discussions of risk factors are also available in the company's registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:
Susan Conway
Investor Relations Manager
Cognex Corporation
(508)  650-3000

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