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Weekly Bot Brief Newsletter on Robotics 7/24/2020

POSTED 07/26/2020

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, 7-24-2020

The price of gold jumped 5% during the week, nearing the $1900 mark in active futures trading. Increasing tensions between the U.S. and China as well as concerns over the value of the dollar contributed to the rise in the precious metal. Those concerns did not play in favor of equity investors who witnessed the broad market’s decline of a quarter of a percent. For the first time in six weeks, the bots underperformed the S & P 500 but recorded less that a half percent reduction.

For such a small aggregate market decline, the Bot Index was peppered by significant moves in half its components. Five companies experienced increases greater than three and one-half percent, while ten retreated over that threshold.

The gainers were led by the 6.58% increase in NIO Inc. when the China International Capital Corp. upgraded the stock to a buy. The price target was upped from the current $11.82 to a price of $13.50.

Lockheed Martin’s 4.81% increase was attributed to an earnings per share jump of 16% on a 12% expansion in revenues. Investors had been expecting $5.72 in earnings, so the surprise built momentum for the stock. In addition, there was some speculation that the company was interested in acquiring drone manufacturer Kratos Defense and Security Systems who has an enterprise value of near $2.10 billion. The fit would be even more attractive since the Air Force just announced  that Kratos was a finalist in the $400 million Skyborg Vanguard Program.

Intuitive Surgical gained 3.78% when the Wall Street research house Benzinga published a research report entitled, ‘Intuitive Surgical's Outlook 'Has Never Been Stronger,' Analyst Says After Q2 Report.’

The Japanese firm Keyence rose 4.27% to further its claim of being the nation’s second largest firm, following Toyota.

ABB Ltd. added about 4% for investors following its release of earnings per share of $.12 versus Zacks’ consensus estimate of $.11. The earnings announcement probably secured the $.83 dividend and its high 3.19% yield.

On the weaker side:

Investors used an extraordinarily strong earnings quarter, that saw iRobot produce EPS of $1.06 versus last year’s $.48, to liquidate the stock. The stock had risen from $48.95 at the beginning of the year to last week’s high of $86.07 and investors were prompted to drop the stock 15.23%.

The up and down fortunes of Tesla proved down last week as Benzinga published, ‘Is Now The Time To Short Tesla's Stock?’ The company’s shares retreated over 5 ½ %.

Wolfe Research issued an ‘underperform’ rating on Apple and assigned a target price of $315, well off the current price of $370.46. The week’s 3.85% decline was the result of the change in evaluation.

The growing tensions between China and the U.S. did not prove positive for Tesla’s sales potential in the Asian market and the stock retreated over 5 ½% for the week. 

An earnings per share decline of 11.4% and a revenue slide exceeding 5% pushed shares of Teledyne 5.33% lower last week.

Other notable decliners included:2020 Bot Index vs. S & P 500, 7-24-2020

  • Cyberdyne -4.97%
  • Yaskawa Electric -4.49%
  • 3D Systems -9.94%
  • AeroVironment -3.47%
  • Brooks -3.24%

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.