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The Bot Brief

POSTED 11/07/2021

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
Buoyed by seven of the Bot Index’s components that gained near or double-digit returns for the week, the Index recorded another new all-time high. The 4.65% of the Bot Index exceeded the 2% gain of the S & P 500. The best performance within the Index’s thirty stocks was from NVIDIA Corp. who increased 16.37% following a Wells Fargo analyst that bumped his estimate for the stock to $320. The analyst prefaced his more bullish view on the Facebook announcement of its new moniker and corporate direction. The creation of Metaverse prompted speculation that NVIDIA’s chips would find a new customer.
Following NVIDIA’s prosperity was 3D Systems whose November 8th financial report is anticipated to report earnings of 6 cents versus a year-over-year loss of 3 cents.
Accuray Inc.’s first quarter report of a 25% improvement in revenues led to the stock’s 12.42% gain. This week’s jump notes three consecutive weeks of double-digit increases in the stock. Likewise, Faro Corp.’s third quarter noted significant improvement in revenues, however, operating profit failed to measure up. Nonetheless, investors bid up the stock by 11.62%. 
Tesla and NIO both had great weeks with moves of 9.70% and 7.31% respectively. Tesla has been riding a momentum wave of recent days, however, the announcement of the potential 10% sale of Elon Musk’s stake in the company could have negative repercussions in the weeks to come (if he, indeed, succumbs to social media’s challenge). NIO was bolstered by Deutsche Bank’s target boost to $70 from the current price of $43.12.
The two weaker stocks were both subject to investor concerns following their 3rd quarter announcement of earnings. Immersion Corp. reported revenues of $7.2 million versus last year’s $7.6 million. Cognex Corp generated $.40 in earnings per share  which was well below $.46 estimate and also below last year’s $.49.
2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance
Hydrogen Power and Containment:
The Bot Brief has recently devoted considerable pages to the review of new energy sources. Since robots, drones 3D printing and Artificial Intelligent technologies rely upon electricity, we felt it important to review new opportunities to power such devices. One of the more interesting and promising of these energy originators is hydrogen power. In particular, green hydrogen, which is created by the application of excess electricity to form the catalyst which extracts the molecules of hydrogen from water, is a versatile and valuable product. The reverse of the separation of hydrogen and oxygen (fusion) produces considerable energy with the only byproduct being water. This feature allows power to be generated within a fuel cell that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
One of the problems with hydrogen, as with any gas, is its containment. Enormous compression is required to contain the hydrogen, turning it into a supercritical fluid where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist. We had the opportunity to interview Andrew Coors, an old friend from Art Laffer days, who is now the CEO of Steelhead Composites in Boulder. Andrew’s firm has produced containment vessels for a variety of applications since 2014. However, with the advent of the European New Green deal, the demand for his carbon fiber containers has exploded. Just this year, his firm has been approached by 1,128 companies citing hydrogen containment as their objective. Steelhead can produce customized high-pressure receptacles in sizes as small as a baseball or a facility of one million tons. However, their standard product measures 9’ x 18” and specs out to 5,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. While Steelhead’s current customer mix is in transportation, marine, back-up power grid and aerospace, the explosion in interest for hydrogen power is a boon not only for Steelhead but the automation industry as a whole. 
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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.