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Weekly Bot Brief on Robotic Research and Investment Review 6-15-2018

POSTED 06/18/2018

"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, 6-18-2018

In the wake of the U.S. Administration’s announced tariffs against Chinese goods, the domestic market took a decidedly negative turn on Friday’s trading. The S & P 500 was virtually flat for the week; however, the higher beta bot names experienced a rather significant downturn. The Bot Index fell 1.10% as, once again, Asian stocks led the slide and energy companies worried about OPEC’s expected output increase.

The gainers in the Bot Index noted the continued strength in 3-D Systems and IRobot, both of which were among the prior week’s best gainers. 3-D Systems rose 3.03% on top of last week’s 11.41% expansion, while IRobot led the index with a 13.44% return. IRobot’s gain follows an almost double-digit improvement for the June 8th week. The other gainers were minor with Intuitive Surgical (+1.22%), Google (+2.80%), Cyberdyne (+2.45%), Amazon (+1.89%) and Immersion Corp. (+1.73%) among the better performers.

The greatest weakness in the Bot Index was recorded by Hiwin Technologies whose stock fell 10.07%. The stock was also the prior week’s worst performer having fallen 5.80%. Two other Asian issues were among the weakest of the index’s constituents. Yaskawa Electric declined 4.51% and OMRON Corp. slid 5.74%. With the prospect of successful peace talks between the U.S. and North Korea, three defense-related bot names lost investor enthusiasm. Northrup Grumman declined 5.05% while Lockheed Martin fell 3.77%. Rounding out the losers for the week were Oceaneering International, down 6.67% (on those OPEC discussions) and Cognex’s 3.88% plunge.

Yikes! One Arm Bandits Now Have A Robotic Cousin.

The luxury cruise line Azamara has replaced many of its on-board gambling casino operations with the video equivalents of blackjack and roulette. Previously, the company had traditional dealers and croupiers that served those functions. In an interview with a cruise officer, the Bot Brief was told that Azamara had moved to the robotic replacements due to the demographics of their clientele. He explained that the new platform was less intimidating and allowed crewmembers to perform other service tasks rather than spending many hours idle or catering to a small number of customers. On Azamara’s parent company Royal Caribbean, which has different demographics, the decision has been to retain casino employment at this stage.

The company selected Bally as its casino hardware replacements. The Bally FusionAC was the vendor, a picture of the system in included:

Bally FusionACMember: American Economic Association, Society of Professional Journalists, United States Press Association. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts

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.

Balcones Investment Research can be reached at its website BalconesInvestmentResearch.com and is headquartered in Florida; with offices in Texas and North Carolina, United States

Cover photo courtesy of The Mirror, UK