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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 12/18/2020

POSTED 12/20/2020

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

Bots in The News:

Paced by eight components whose results exceeded 5% for the week, of which half recorded double digit gains, the Bot Index reversed its two-week swing of underperformance versus the S & P 500. The bots gained 3.22% while the broader markets increased 1.25%. Of the thirty stocks that make up the Bot Index only eight recorded negative returns and only the 5.84% decline of Cyberdyne Inc. was of any consequence.

Of the best performers, Tesla’s near 14% jump exceeded the pack as it is set to debut on the S&P 500 next week as the benchmark's sixth-largest company with a market value of more than $640 billion.

Tesla’s Japanese counterpart, NIO Ltd. also gained 11.29% on favorable comments by Investor’s Business Daily. However, threats by President Trump on Friday regarding the delisting of Chinese stocks, could have a bearing on next week’s trading.

Hiwin Technologies continues its winning streak adding 12.37% this week. The stock traded as low as $249 on October 30 before steadily rising to this week’s close at $386.

iRobot’s fortunes have changed in the past few months for the better. Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $3.53 per share and revenue of $1.37 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +18.86% and +12.9%, respectively. Clearly, the upbeat estimates are contributing to the change in investor sentiment.

If it were not for a significant drop in price during Friday’s trading 3D Systems would have joined the double-digit crowd. Despite Friday’s malaise, the stock continued its recent climb, adding another 9.70% to its performance track.

Productivity and Bots:

Of the economic building blocks that promote GDP growth and prosperity, the concept of productivity is a major component. The definition of productivity is, “The expression of the ratio of an aggregate output to a single input.” It is generally referred to as the efficiency of a person completing a task. But that narrowly defines productivity into the aspect of human labor in the production cycle. What if there is no human component of the ability to create a widget or some form of service? 

The London Economist Magazine devoted its Finance and Economics section of the December 12th edition to the prospects for a resurgence in productivity. Within the article the authors speculated that, “A rise in total factor productivity – or the efficiency with which an economy uses its productive inputs – may require the discovery of new ways of producing goods and services.”

In looking at ways that corporations are forecast to expand productivity, 50% plan to accelerate automation of production tasks.” Of those over 65% are anticipating the use of non-human robots and 50% are looking to 3D printing in the production chain. Clearly, the Robotic Revolution is still on a major upswing and its impact on productivity will be a harbinger for economic expansion.

Member: 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 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.