Weekly Bot Brief 5-14-02021
"There is no force on earth more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo
Bots in The News:
The Bot Index dropped 3.18% last week, capping off three consecutive weeks where bot stocks underperformed the S & P 500. The broad market fell; however the decline was less than half that of the Bot Index.
The only real gainer within the Bot Index was the 16.24% jump by 3D Systems. As you may recall from last week’s Bot Brief, we noted that the firm would be reporting earnings on the 10th of May and analysts were expecting only about a $.02 earnings gain. Perhaps there was some concern that even that figure would not be attained for the stock slid almost 11%. However, both earnings and revenues exceeded expectations – EPS of $.17 and revenues of $146.1 million ($136.6 million was anticipated). The blow out quarter was a jolt to analysts and reaffirmed the companies refocus and restructure last year.
Of the significant decliners, there were several, the greatest of which was Tesla’s 12.29% slide. Following Tesla were a flood of Asian names including Tesla’s EV rival of NIO Ltd. who fell 9.53%. Other Asian decliners included Cyberdyne (-11.62%), Yaskawa Electric Co.(-7.32%), Fanuc (-5.62%) and finally Hiwin Technologies (-11.52%). Hiwin’s decline this week follows a 12.47% retreat in the previous week’s trading due to the bellicose political environment between Taiwan and Mainland China.
Energy, Energy, ??
The energy grid was once again in the forefront of news this week as hackers brought down the Colonial pipeline. The disruption created an energy vacuum in much of the East Coast and underscored the vulnerability of U.S. energy supplies. In a host of recent articles touting the opportunities to supplement fossil fuels with ammonia, hydrogen, and fusion.
In the first article from BBC News, Tokamak Energy is competing with the U.S and France to develop sustainable fusion-based energy much like powers the sun. The theory behind fusion is utilizing hydrogen atoms place under heat and pressure such that they fuse together to form helium. Tokamak is utilizing 18 massive magnets (10 tons) situated in an oval position to produce energy with virtually no carbon dioxide byproducts. Commercial viability, however, is not expected to be practical until the 2030’s.
The IEEE Spectrum ran an article discussing the very real use of ammonia to power large container vessels. With the statement, “ammonia is the lowest cost zero-emission fuel that we could find,”, Tristan Smith of the University College London’s Energy Institute, predicts that the use by larger ships will be widespread by the 2030’s. Despite a number of challenges, the attractiveness of ammonia as a fuel source has industry experts believing that ammonia will represent 25% of total energy used in shipping by 2050.
Despite recurring images of the Hindenburg zeppelin disaster while using hydrogen gas as a lighter than air blimp, the use of hydrogen power has evolved into providing a number of power applications. Already used in rocket power, the utilization of hydrogen fuel cells is already finding consumer use in automobiles. The Honda Clarity is available in California as a unique power alternative and, due to more availability of compressed hydrogen gas, the opportunity to have a hydrogen based vehicle is becoming more of a reality.
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 views 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.