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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 12/20/2019

POSTED 12/22/2019

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

Bot Index Highlights:Bot Index vs. S & P 500 12-22-2019

Despite gaining only .225% for the week, several bot stocks performed extremely well. Of the thirty-stock index, only eight were in negative territory. In fact, if the 32.76% decline in shares of Ekso Bionics were removed, the index would have about matched the 1.65% gain by the S & P 500. Ekso Bionics announced

that it had issued 11,111,116 shares of common stock with warrants to purchase up to 8,333,337 additional shares in a quest to raise $5 million. The warrants have an exercise price of $.5402 per share and have a five-and-a-half-year term. The resulting earnings dilution and built-in future dilution was not well received by shareholders who bid down the stock to $.39 to end the week. Other losing stocks included several Japanese companies led by the 5.86% drop in Fanuc Corp.

Eight Bot Index components provided 3+% returns to their shareholders during the week. The only double-digit win was generated by NIO Corp. whose stock rose 12.55%. The stock has performed well since November 1st, gaining some 77% on good car delivery news and favorable publicity spawned by the company’s Chairman. It will release its third EV Model SUV on December 28th and has pinned hopes on its acceptance in the Chinese market.

NVIDIA Corp. rose 6.87% after Wells Fargo issued a report announcing the company was its premier pick in the Semiconductor sector. It increased its share price target to $270 versus the current price of $239.

Shares of iRobot turned around and reported a rise of 7.58%. Beset by class action lawsuits, the lead plaintiff’s deadline is scheduled for  December 23. Investors indicated their relief that this phase of the litigation may be behind the company.

Textron gained a bit over 4% following its report of an $815 million deal to repair and service helicopters. The Naval Supply Systems Command Weapons Supply Support awarded the contract.

Bots in the News:

Our friend Marion Tupy of Human Progress.org noted several robotic articles in his latest issue of The Stuff of Progress. The most interesting of which was an article in the MIT Technology Review that noted the success of Duke and MIT researchers who trained a set of neural networks involving image recognition  algorithms to visually recognize items in a similar fashion to human vison response.

In a Zachs research report devoted to the increase of application of robots in industry they quoted, “According to a World Robotics report, the number of installed industrial robots for 2019 is estimated at 421,000 units worldwide. For 2020, the figure is about to increase 10% to 465,000 units. For the 2022, the installation base is projected at 584,000 units.

Further, an IDC report indicates that spending in robotics is expected to hit $210.3 billion by 2022, witnessing a CAGR of 20.2%. Additionally, software and hardware spending in the technology is likely to see a CAGR of 21.7% and 18.2%, respectively.

Additionally, Statista projects spending on robotics categories in 2020, Industrial, Commercial, Military and Personal, at $16.4 billion, $10.8 billion, $11.21 billion and $4.5 billion, respectively.

Given this upbeat scenario, not only are robotics companies globally ramping up efforts to innovate their robots but also tech companies are coming up with advanced techniques and tools to bring further advancement in the robotics system.”

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