The Bot Brief
"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come."
- Victor Hugo
Bots in The News:
The initial week of earnings reports for year-end were something of a surprise on the upside. McDonalds was the first to report during the week with a reflection of pricing power that surprised investors who were expecting inflation to erode income. While there were some disappointments, generally the market viewed the earnings as positive. Hence, the S & P 500 gained 1.62% while the Bot Index surged almost 3%.
There were three double digit gainers among the bots with the strongest number recorded by Accuray Inc. Rising 21%, management reported a record 29 new cyperknife systems delivered. Most notable was new EBITDA of $6.8 million, up 24% year over year and guidance for 2023 of $26 million to $30 million.
3D Systems rose 12% which represented five consecutive weekly gains that have propelled the stock from $8.23 to $12.02, a gain of 46%.
Lincoln Electric rose 7% as Simply Wall Street noted the company’s 33% return on capital compared to its peers’ 11%.
Tesla rose 6.79% as sales of Chinese made EVs increased 18% in January. The good number was an indication that the opening up of the country following their covid outbreak and the reduced pricing strategy were having a positive impact upon the company’s line.
The only major loser during the week was NIO Inc. who fell almost 12%. Zachs did an analysis of the company’s earnings prospects and rated the stock as a sell.
AI For the Masses?
While the automation industry has been long awaiting consumer acceptance of robots by regulators and the mainstream, the use of AI is off to a stronger start. Many in the ethics world have been concerned that AI would create issues that might not be intended nor safe for the human race. Not so anymore with the general public. The widespread acceptance of ChatGPT, the AI dialogue software and app has taken artificial intelligence to a consumer level that has been remarkable. With a high level of publicity regarding recent use of the product to produce manuscripts superior to many human skills, the app has logged a remarkable following. The app has achieved a record number of users in the two months it has been available. ChatGPT is the fastest growing app in history with over 100 million users and an accelerating trajectory.
Uses of the app include the writing of manuscripts, to poems, college level essays and, unfortunately, the writing of malware. The remarkable acceptance of ChatGPT will continue to foment other avenues of AI for consumer, business, defense and government use. Microsoft has already invested $10 million into the company and is looking at integrating the software into some of its own services. If such universal acceptance of this measure of AI is so successful, can the applications of robots be far behind?
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