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The Bot Brief

POSTED 12/04/2022

"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."       

- VIctor Hugo


Bots In the News:Bot Index vs. S & P 500

In response to powerful gains by four of the Bot Index’ thirty holdings, the Index gained 3.24% in last week’s trading. This exceeded the 1.13% increase that was recorded by the S & P 500. The gainers were led by a near 30% jump in shares of NIO Inc. What a difference a week makes, as NIO was among the weakest stocks in the prior week. What made the difference was its announcement of record deliveries in the month of November and expectations that the December month would be even stronger. Perhaps the demonstrations regarding covid lockdowns in China are influencing governmental decisions. An opening up of the economy would be a real positive for EV sales.

Immersion Corp. generated another strong showing since the report of their earnings in November. On the heels of three consecutive positive performances (3.18%, 23.9% and 5.71%) last week the stock added another 9.56%.

Tesla’s unveiling of its new electric semitrailer trucks helped the stock perform this week. The shares gained 5.52%.

Azenta Corp. increased 7.41%. The company has hired JP Morgan Chase to conduct an accelerated $500 million repurchase program over the next year. The reduction in shares outstanding will assist in improving EPS in the year 2023.

On relatively strong volume, Accuray Inc. was the worst performer for the week. The stock slipped 6.82%.

“And here, she’s acting happy inside her handsome home. And me, I’m flying in my taxi, taking tips.” Harry Chapin

In anticipation of the Paris Olympics set for July 2024, France has developed a prototype air terminal for flying taxis. With the concept of providing a quick, convenient, green, and safe trip from a vertiport to the Olympic Village, the new concept is taking a page from autonomous land taxis that are becoming more available across the globe. With the title of Vertiport, several companies are in the design and development phase of vertical, drone-like, air taxis without a human pilot. Tabbed EVTOLs, a number of international companies are prepping for commercial applications. The technology for the vehicles is sound and safe, however, it is the infrastructure of take-off and landing facilities that need to catch up. Under the French system, the air terminal is about the size of a small apartment and the automation such as reservations, facial recognition, payment, and boarding can be accomplished by a single app on a smart phone.

The logic of using air drones for taxis is apparent but will still face the morass of regulatory, legal and safety concerns that plague many advancements in the world of automation.


Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association, Member IEEE.


The Bot Brief is a weekly newsletter designed for economists, investment specialists, journalists, and academicians. It receives no remuneration from any companies that may from time to time be featured in the brief and its commentaries, analysis, opinions, and research represent the subjective view of Balcones Investment Research, LLC. Due to the complex and rapidly changing nature of the subject matter, the company makes no assurances as to the absolute accuracy of material presented.