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Cognex Corporation versus National Instruments Corporation Head to Head Compare


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This is a head to head compare of Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX) and National Instruments Corporation (NASDAQ:NATI) . We will compare the two companies on revenue growth, earnings, revenue per employee, operating margins, free cash flow and valuation. The head to head compare assigns 100 points in total.



Before we dive into the analysis, we will look at the stock returns for each company over the last three months, six months and the last year. The stock returns do not impact the head to head compare scores which are focused on the fundamentals of each company, but ultimately stock returns are are still a critical piece to a full analysis and compare.


Stock Returns
Symbol 3-Months 6-Months One-Year Fundamentals
CGNX +28.8% +57.1% +123.4%
NATI +8.3% +22.5% +20.6%

These companies have the same star rating so the head-to-head compare will rely on a deep dive into specific metric comparisons. The CML Star Rating is an objective, quantifiable measure of a company's operating and financial condition. The rating is computed by measuring numerous elements of the company's current financial data and their associated changes over time.

Now, let's dive into the two companies to compare them.

➤ Income Statement
First we turn to the income statement and compare revenue, earnings and revenue per employee for both companies. We note that simple revenue comparisons do not impact the rating.

National Instruments Corporation has substantially higher revenue in the last year than Cognex Corporation. Raw revenue comps do not affect the head to head rating.
Revenue

Both CGNX and NATI show positive earnings over the last year with the edge to CGNX.

Net Income


CGNX generates massively larger revenue per employee ($366,000) than NATI ($163,000).

Revenue per Employee
($ Millions)


➤ Margins
Next we create some derived metrics to compare the the amount of revenue earned per dollar of expense and the amount of free cash flow earned per dollar of revenue. Margins are one of the fairest ways to compare companies since they remove some of the bias of large versus small numbers.

Cognex Corporation generates $1.54 in revenue for every $1 of expense, substantially higher than National Instruments Corporation's $1.18.

Revenue per Dollar of Expense


CGNX generates $0.24 in levered free cash flow for every $1 of revenue, massively higher than NATI's $0.09.

Free Cash Flow
per Dollar of Revenue


➤ Growth
Finally we compare the financial metrics related to growth: revenue growth rates and price to sales.

Both companies are growing revenue. Cognex Corporation is growing revenue massively faster than National Instruments Corporation.

Revenue Growth


For every $1 in revenue, the stock market prices in $12.69 in market cap for CGNX and $3.41 in market cap for NATI.

Price to Sales

Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX)
defeats
National Instruments Corporation (NASDAQ:NATI) : 84 to 16