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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 4/12/2019

POSTED 04/14/2019

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

Bot Index Highlights:
The prior week’s darling stock, NIO Corp., fell back to earth this week as the stock cratered some 6.90%, totally giving up the 5.10% it enjoyed in the first week of the new quarter. The bots, however, bested the broader market by half a point, though neither index was particularly robust this week. The Bot Index gained a modest 1.01% and was aided by Faro Technologies’ 19.26% spectacular rise. The stock jumped following the announcement that Michael Burger was hired to serve as the CEO and member of the Board. On the news the volume of the shares traded moved from an average of 55,000 to 425,900. Mr. Burger, an electrical engineer, had formerly been the CEO of Electro Scientific Industries.

Assisting Faro in the index’s outperformance was the trading of Immersion Corp. and Cognex. Immersion rose 3.46% following the report of a licensing agreement with Alpine Electronics. Alpine contracted to utilize Immersion’s haptic technologies for in-vehicle touchscreens. Cognex increased 3.02%.

First Quarter Earning Roundup:
According to our sources on Wall Street the first quarter of 2019 is not shaping up to be particularly attractive for investors. Citing currency issues and labor costs, the aggregate earnings expected from the S & P 500 is negative 3.4% to negative 4.3% year-over-year. In fact, those U.S. companies with over 50% sales exposure internationally are looking for an 11.2% slide. Certainly, that would impact the first quarter results from NVIDIA, Cognex Corp., Textron, United Technologies, Apple, Google and AeroVironment. In comparison with the S & P 500 however, the bot stocks seem to fair better than their broad market counterparts. About half of the components of the Bot Index are expecting lower earnings than the year-over-year quarter. The wrap-up of the expected reporting date with current and prior year’s earnings is included below:

Company    Date            2019             2018
Cognex                Ap 29           $.17              $.21
NVIDIA                May 9           $.79              $2.05
Textron               Ap 17           $.68              $.72
United Tech        Ap 23           $1.75            $1.77
Lockheed            Ap 23           $4.33            $4.02
Northrup            Ap 24           $4.60            $4.21
3D Systems        May 7           $-.01             $-.03
iRobot                 Ap 23           $.59              $.71
Apple                  Ap 30           $2.37            $2.73
ABB Ltd              May 2           $.23              $.31
Rockwell             Ap 25           $2.08            $1.89
Int Surgical         Ap 18           $2.71            $2.44
Lincoln El            Ap 22           $1.24            $1.10
Faro Tech           Ap 24           $.08              $.03
Oceaneering     Ap 29           $-.45             $-.41
Accuray              Ap 23           $-.04             $-.10
Immersion         May 9           $-.29             $2.34
Google                Ap 29           $10.58          $13.33
Teledyne            Ap 24           $1.92           $1.81
Ekso                    May 6           $-.08             $-.14
Amazon             Ap 25           $4.72            $3.27
Qiagen NV         May 6           $.26              $.26
AeroViron.           *               $.26              $.77

*April quarter end.

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