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The Bot Brief

POSTED 10/23/2022

"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

What a difference a week makes in the world of investing. Coming off the prior week’s disaster where there was only one gainer in the entire Bot Index, this week saw the robots increase by 6.28%. Besting the S & P 500 by over 150 basis points, the bots were only constrained by some weakness in the Asian companies.

The Index held six companies that rose into double digits during the week. The best performer was recorded by the 19.35% gain of Intuitive Surgical. The stock was buoyed by an earnings report that included an 11% gain in revenues to $1.56 billion and earnings per share of $1.19, which exceeded analysts’ expectations of $1.12.

Lockheed Martin gained 16.74% as its earnings for the third quarter were quite exceptional. Sales rose 3.5% while earnings grew by 190% over last year’s numbers. Also helping the stock was an indication that the company would buyback $4 billion in shares this year, with another $4 billion in 2023, $4 billion in 2024 and $2 billion in 2025. Management also voted to increase dividends by 7%.

Lockheed’s earnings spawned sympathy interest in Northrup Grumman who will report earnings on October 27 and helped to push the stock up 12.59%. Other double-digit gainers included Oceaneering International who rose 15.34% and Amazon that experienced an 11.62% rise.

There were only three stocks in negative territory during the week. All were in the Asian sector of the portfolio. NIO Inc. continued its recent weakness with a 4.59% decline and Keyence Corp. dropped 3.35% and Hiwin Technologies gave up 1.86%.

2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance

Interesting Energy Facts:

The Bot Brief has devoted considerable past pages on the future of energy to power the Robotic Revolution. While it is relatively certain that electricity and batteries are the key components of automation’s power source, the production of that electricity is yet to be determined for the future. As the world shifts away from fossil fuels and into fuel cells, solar, tidal and wind power, nuclear plants, hydrogen and other alternatives to coal, gas and petroleum, there are some interesting questions that were recently hypothesized by The McKinsey Global Institute. The think-tank compared the cost of decarbonization to other major world challenges such as the Manhattan Project and Project Apollo’s human lunar landing. In contrast to the $33 billion cost (in today’s dollars) of the development of the atomic bomb and the $207 billion expenditure for the round-trip moon shuttle, McKinsey & Co. projects a conservative budget of $275 trillion between 2021 and 2050 for the decarbonization of energy. In comparison, the Manhattan Project represented .3% of the 1943-1945 GDP and the moon launch .2% of the annual GDP from 1961 to 1972. McKinsey’s estimate would require an annual expenditure of 10% of world GDP. With many poorer countries unable to fill that bill, the cost burden for the developed nations could constitute 15% to 20% of their annual GDP. And that is only if China and Russia abandon their current stance on fossil fuel reliance.

Mercedes just announced its 241-horsepower solar-boosted EV had completed a 747 mile one-charge trip from its Sindelfingen facility near Stuttgart to Cassis, France. The sleek, luxury sedan has a rear drive power train and a 100-kilowatt-hour energy battery. The EV comes equipped with 117 solar cells in the roof which have assisted in the charge duration up to an extra 43 km. The prototype is expected to hit the market in 2024 but no price has been indicated yet.




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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 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.