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The Bot Brief

POSTED 02/19/2024

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

- Victor Hugo


The Bot Brief February 16, 2024

Despite a modestly down broad market, the Bot Index edged up eighty-one basis points in trading last week. Only one of the thirty bot stocks that make up the index experienced double digit returns. 3D Systems jumped 11.11% as the volatile and low-priced stock announced its quarterly and full year earnings picture will be announced by management next Wednesday the 28th. Lincoln Electric was the second-best performer as it gained 7.89% following its earnings report. For the quarter ended December 2023, Lincoln Electric Holdings (LECO) reported revenue of $1.06 billion, up 13.7% over the same period last year. EPS came in at $2.45, compared to $1.94 in the year-ago quarter. The reported revenue represents a surprise of +2.67% over the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03 billion. With the consensus EPS estimate being $2.19, the EPS surprise was +11.87%.

Another low-priced stock, Oceaneering International rose nearly 7% after it reported having obtained over $200 million in drilling contracts. The company secured commitments both in the gulf and internationally for related drilling and production products.

The Swiss robotic firm ABB Ltd. increased 3.59% on a slight gain in revenues over analysts’ predictions. Similarly, Cognex Corp. rose  3.73% as its eleven cent earnings also slightly exceeded Wall Street’s anticipation. Tesla and NIO Inc. each gained a bit above 3% while Accuray Inc. rose 5.30% and Hiwin Technologies increased 5.47%.

Three of the Magnificent Seven stocks disappointed investors this week. Amazon declined 2.83%, Google slid 5.63% and Apple (whom was the subject of a Warrant Buffet sale) dropped 3.46%.

Again, iRobot led the losers as it fell another 9.52%. The company will be reporting earnings on Monday the 26th and investors may be expecting more fallout from the abandoned Amazon takeover.


Universal Basic Income:

Diego Daruich of USC and Raquel Fernandez of NYU penned an interesting take on UBI in the latest American Economic Review. Their conclusion was that “UBI generates large welfare losses in a general equilibrium model with imperfect capital markets, labor market shocks and intergenerational linkages via skill formation and transfers.” The authors note that many UBI studies have focus mainly on the short-term consequences and benefits of the imposition of a ‘safety net’ of a governmentally provided financial subsidy. Their work, however, tackles the longer – intergenerational implications. Their analysis points to potential problems with evaluating large policy changes solely from evidence derived from short-run experimental settings for small groups. It is, indeed, the longer-term issues that arise from intergenerational higher labor taxes which reduces investment in children’s skills, decreases parental transfers, and lowers the share of agents with college education. “In aggregate terms, we find that the UBI policy is associated with a longer-run GDP reduction of almost 20%, of which the fall in the capital stock explains half, with the decline in labor supply and in efficiency units of labor being responsible for the remainder.” 


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 the material presented