Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 4/30/2021
"There is no force on earth more powerful than and idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo
Bots in The News
Earnings reports impacted both gainers and losers during the past week’s Bot Index performance. The losers carried the day forcing the Index down 1.22%, well below the broad market’s 24 basis point gain.
There were only two gainers experiencing much of a return for investors. Textron continued its record of five consecutive weeks of gains with a 6.30% jump in last week’s trading. The stock benefitted from its earnings report of $.70 per share versus the consensus of Wall Street’s analysts of $.47. The surprise reflected four quarters of income that exceeded expectations. Investors were also excited about the $100 million in revenue growth during the quarter.
Despite a profit increase of 220% and a total annual tally of $26.9 billion, Amazon gained only 3.79% for the week. That was still good enough to serve as the second highest return recorded by the bots for the week’s trading.
Losers were led by the 14.79% drop in shares of Faro. The company reported earnings of a 3-cent loss which was worse than the 2-cent loss of 2020 and the consensus of analysts of 7 cents.
Accuray Inc. fell 11.82% after its earnings were zero for the quarter versus a 3-cent gain in 2020. Wall Street was unimpressed and dropped their expectations for full year earnings by 20% and moved the stock to a ‘sell’ rating.
iRobot Corp. also reported disappointing earnings which pushed the stock down 4%. The company’s earnings were off 21.74% and revenues fell 14.87% from year over year results.
Again, the Japanese holdings within the Bot Index were contributors to the Index’s weaker performance. OMRON Corp. fell 6.79% while Yaskawa Electric declined 4.18%. Both of which have reported three negative consecutive weekly trading patterns.
The Corner Bot Office?
In the British newspaper, NewStatesman, journalist Will Dunn posed the question of whether executive pay is paying off for shareholders. While not a particularly new subject, Mr. Dunn suggests that perhaps robots with AI might make more of a difference in exec performance. He cited the workings of the Hong Kong’s mass transit system which put software in charge of scheduling its maintenance in 2004 and enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s most punctual and best-run metros.
With CEO pay reaching excessive amounts, the author noted, “Tim Steiner, the highest-paid CEO in the FTSE 100, was paid £58.7m in 2019 for running Ocado, which is 2,605 times the median income of his employees for that year, while the average FTSE100 CEO makes more than £15,000 a day.” With somewhat of a ‘tongue in cheek’ closing argument, Mr. Dunn suggested, “In the longer term, as companies commit to greater automation of many roles, it's pertinent to ask whether a company needs a CEO at all.”
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.