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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 10/18/2019

POSTED 10/18/2019

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

Bot Index Highlights:

Finally, the Bot Index made some meaningful progress against the S & P 500 this past week. The bots jumped 2.24% while the broad market eeked out a half percent increase. In a  reverse mirror image from the prior week, early strength during the trading session ended with Friday weakness. Yet despite the 255 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrials on Friday, the week was a reasonable one for investors.

Leading the Bot Index were shares of Ekso Bionics. The low priced issue jumped over 26%. The stock has been languishing of late and this ‘dead cat’ bounce is probably as a result of a feature that noted how exoskeleton prostheses are gadgets that are not unlike the value that miners had for their equipment during the gold rush era.

Intuitive Surgical surprised analysts with knockout quarterly earnings. The stock jumped 9.31% after its third quarter came in at $3.43 per share versus consensus expectations of $2.96. The earnings per share reflected a 21% year over year increase. The company also reported revenues of $1.13 billion which was 22% over last year’s comparable quarter.

Qiagen N.V. announced it had developed a new tool allowing scientists  to extract unwanted RNA from samples, which offer better insight on Next Generation Sequencing. That may not sound too impressive, however, that business is expected to grow to $16 billion by 2024.

3D Systems benefited from a Simply Wall Street analysis entitled ‘When Should You Buy 3D Systems?’ While the feature noted that DDD was near fair valuation it should benefit from profits that are expected to grow 58% over the next couple of years.

Other gainers included Cognex whose purchase of SUALAB helped the stock rise 4.33%. The company’s acquisition is expected to assist in  Deep Learning regarding machine vision for industrial applications. Abb Ltd.’s stock jumped 3.68% as it was awarded a $1.75 million contract for scanning devices for the Canadian Space Agency. Finally, Rockwell Automation rose 3.10%, aided by a report that top hedge funds had added 11% to holdings.

The poorest performers for the week included Oceaneering International (-6.67%), Textron (-5.83%) and Faro Corp. (-3.21%). Among the losers was Northrup Grumman who fell 3.48% as investors were concerned about the upcoming October 24th earnings report. Zach’s is expecting the earning are likely to be 27% below last year’s figure.

Member: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Robotic Industries Association.

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 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