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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 1/8/2021

POSTED 01/10/2021

"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, 1-8-2021

The first week of 2021 ended explosively for the Bot Index as it jumped 9.09%! The spectacular increase represented the third largest gaining week since the inception of the index in late 2015. By contrast, the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose a comparatively mild 1.83%.

The bots were paced by five companies that experienced double digit rates of return one of which – 3D Systems  more than doubled during the week. Following the sale of its non-core software business the stock rose from $10.48 to $23.53, a 125% weekly improvement. The proceeds from the sale were used to reduce its exposure to the remaining senior secured term loan, leaving the company debt-free and with cash to pursue other corporate avenues. In addition, the company reported fourth quarter revenue guidance of $170-176 million that significantly exceeded Wall Street expectations of $140 million. After having languished much of 2020 in the $6 to $7 dollar range, the announcements served as a panacea for anxious investors.

The U.S. political elections carried implications for future corporate profits within the bot universe. From a positive perspective, the fortunes of electric vehicles increased under a potentially more environmentally sensitive administration. Tesla shares jumped 24.71% and its rival NIO Ltd. gained 20.88% with the prospects of ‘mandated’ conversions of internal combustion vehicles to those of electric propulsion. On the other hand, virtually all the companies whose trading was negative for the week were defense contractors. Teledyne fell 6.03%, Northrup Grumman declined 5.38%, Lockheed Martin dropped 5.32% while Raytheon Technologies slid 2.31%.

Other double digit bot gainers for the week included a number of lower priced issues that, like 3D Systems, emerged from historically weak trading patterns. Oceaneering International rose from $7.95 to $10.42, a 31% jump and Accuray Inc. rose 13.67%. On the opposite end of the price spectrum was Hiwin Technologies whose price jumped from $384 to $433. The stock has been on a powerful upswing and it should be noted that the $1.8 billion ROBO Exchange Traded Fund has taken the stock to its second largest position (32.7 million shares). As recently as October 30, shares were trading under $250.

20's Decade of Bot Index, 1-8-2021Member: 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.