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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 2/5/2021

POSTED 02/07/2021

"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, 02-05-2021

With a 5.70% increase in February’s first week of trading, the Bot Index more than eclipsed the 4.63% decline of the prior week. In doing so, the Index reversed its underperformance to the broad market that occurred in the last week of January. Five of the Bot Index’s components experienced double digit returns while the instance of weakness was hardly evident in the domestic holdings.

Once again, 3D Systems was the leader of the bots as it jumped almost 35%. It is hard to conceive that at the end of the third quarter of 2020, the stock was trading at $4.65 and is now at $47.65. The company’s announced restructuring last summer is obviously working, and this week’s move was due, in part, to management’s announced 100,000 square foot expansion of a manufacturing facility adjacent to its headquarters. This indication that demands for the company’s 3D printers is booming and could allow the company to report positive earnings for the fourth quarter.

Despite Jeff Bezos’ announcement that he is stepping down from Amazon’s CEO position, the stock rose 14.29% as investors gauge Bezos’ successor on a positive note.

Oceaneering International gained 13.74% as the price of oil rose to a new annual high level, issuing hope that the company’s earnings will follow suit.

Immersion Corp. announced it has formed a partnership with Farurecia, a leading automobile technology company, while also providing preliminary revenue and earnings numbers of $10.5 to $11 million and $.27 to $.29, respectively. Last year’s comparable quarter saw revenues of only $6.26 million in revenues and 0 earnings.

The final double-digit gainer was Faro Technologies whose fortunes gained by an 11.11% stock improvement.

Keyence Corp. was the only significant loser as it fell 3.21%.


2020's Decade of Bot Index Performance

Bots in The News:

As my sore shoulder will attest, the new Moderna vaccine packs quite a wallop. The combination of messenger RNA materials that are used to make proteins and the spike proteins that the virus creates come together to form the virus in which vaccinated cell break into fragments that are recognized by the immune system. However, as complex is the creation of the vaccine, other manipulations of proteins within the body are being used for a variety of health, biofuels, and targeted functions (such as the dissipation of plastics and Styrofoam). The British firm, DeepMind has used artificial intelligence to help mine the folds of protein structures. The genetic misplacement of folds is likely the culprit in many maladies including diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The understanding and manipulation of those building block folds will be a gigantic leap forward to the betterment of mankind.

As the Bot Brief has frequently commented upon, the exploration and exploitation of the oceans is a major opportunity of a future source of employment and discovery. A group from Stanford University has developed a combination LaserSonar scanner that uses laser light to shoot pulses onto the water surface which is turned into a sound wave that reflects back from the underwater subsurface. The potential to map, uncover potential mineral deposits and even spot wrecks and ancient engulfed cities is becoming ever more a reality as the device can be employed from aerial drones that can cover vast ranges more rapidly and accurately than trailed sonar devices.

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 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.