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Cognex Corporation Announces Third Quarter Results; Machine Vision Company Returns to Profitability

Cognex Corporation

NATICK, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 15, 2002--Cognex Corporation CGNX today announced revenue for the third quarter ended September 29, 2002 of $31,827,000, compared to $33,974,000 reported for the third quarter of 2001. Net income for the third quarter ended September 29, 2002 was $781,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, compared to $2,292,000, or $0.05 per diluted share, reported for the comparable quarter a year ago. Reported results for the third quarter of 2002 include a benefit totaling $1,156,000 in cost of revenue relating to an inventory reserve recorded in the fourth quarter of 2001. Excluding this benefit, the company would have reported net income of $53,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2002.

Revenue for the nine months ended September 29, 2002 was $80,278,000, compared to $115,559,000 reported for the same nine-month period a year ago. For the nine months ended September 29, 2002, Cognex reported a net loss of $6,451,000, or $0.15 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9,208,000, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the comparable period in 2001. Excluding the inventory benefit described above, as well as a similar benefit and investment losses in the second quarter of 2002, the net loss for the first nine months of 2002 would have been $3,913,000, or $0.09 per diluted share.

‘‘Our third quarter results are down significantly compared to a year ago due to the continuing worldwide slowdown in capital equipment spending by manufacturers, primarily those in the semiconductor and electronics industries. However, on a sequential basis, things are improving. First, it is encouraging that for the second quarter in a row, revenue has increased on a sequential basis. And, equally important, we have returned to profitability, even after excluding the positive impact of unusual items during the quarter,’‘ said Dr. Robert J. Shillman, Cognex's President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman.

Dr. Shillman continued, ‘‘Customer orders in the third quarter were essentially flat with the prior quarter, and we now believe that revenue for the fourth quarter will increase only slightly over the third quarter and will be in the range of $32 million to $34 million. In that range of revenue, we expect to remain profitable in the fourth quarter and to earn up to $0.03 per share.’‘

‘‘Even though we believe a significant pickup in revenue is unlikely in the near term due to the slowdown in our OEM business, there are some positive events to report at Cognex. First, in our factory-floor business in the third quarter, we booked record orders for In-Sight, our very successful family of low-cost vision sensors. And, we will set a new bookings record for the year, since in the past three quarters we have already received more orders for In-Sight than we previously received in the prior record year. In our surface inspection business, bookings for our SmartView systems have increased on a sequential basis for the second quarter in a row. Both In-Sight and SmartView are growing faster than the markets for each of those products because we are continuing to gain market share over the competition in each of those business segments. Finally, cash remains king in today's tough climate, and we have plenty of it! Even though our cash and investments balance has declined by $21.6 million from the end of 2001, you will be happy to know that this decline was the result of two positive events. First, we had positive cash flows from operations of $7 million for the first nine months of 2002, and next, we put some of our cash (approximately $26 million of it) to very good use by repurchasing nearly 1.8 million shares of our stock, ‘‘ Dr. Shillman concluded.

Analyst Conference Call and Simultaneous Webcast
Cognex Corporation will host an analyst conference call to discuss its results for the third quarter of 2002, as well as the financial outlook, today at 5:00 p.m. eastern. The telephone number to listen to the live conference call is 888-855-5837 (or 719-457-2667 if outside the United States). A replay of the conference call will begin at 8:00 p.m. eastern today and will be available until midnight on October 21, 2002. To listen to the replay of the conference call, the telephone number is 888-203-1112 (or 719-457-0820 if outside the United States) and the access code for the replay is 403682.

Internet users can listen to a real-time audio broadcast of the conference call on Cognex's website at http://www.cognex.com. An archive of the webcast will be available on Cognex's website for one week.

About Cognex Corporation
Cognex Corporation designs, develops, manufacturers, 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 150,000 machine vision systems, representing over $1 billion in cumulative revenue, since the company's founding in 1981. 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 that are manufactured in a continuous fashion, such as metals, paper, nonwovens 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.

Forward-Looking Statement
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. 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 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Information:
Cognex Corporation
Susan Conway, 508/650-3353



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