What happened

Shares of Cognex (NASDAQ:CGNX) have jumped today, up by 10% as of 12:20 p.m. EDT, after the company reported first-quarter earnings. The machine-vision specialist beat expectations for both the top and bottom lines.

So what

Revenue in the first quarter came in at $167.2 million, ahead of the $154.9 million in sales that Wall Street was looking for. That all translated into net income of $20.5 million, or $0.11 per share on an adjusted basis. The consensus estimate had called for just $0.08 per share in adjusted profits.

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"Companies around the world, including ours, are facing significant disruptions in their businesses," CEO Robert Willett said. "While some customers are accelerating activity, notably companies in China and in e-commerce fulfillment, many others are struggling to implement capital spending plans or are putting those investments on hold."

Now what

The vision tech company, which provides barcode readers and machine-vision systems for automating manufacturing and distribution operations, said it was maintaining a strong financial position of $845 million in cash and no debt. Cognex has not opted to suspend its share repurchase program like many other companies have in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The novel coronavirus outbreak has impacted Cognex in different ways, hurting demand within certain industries while boosting it in others. The company is providing "less specific guidance" as a result, calling for revenue and earnings per share to decline in the second quarter on both a sequential and year-over-year basis. Gross margin is expected to be around a mid-70s percentage, and operating expenses should decline by over 10%.

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