Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada ROBO Global https://www.proactiveinvestors.com Proactiveinvestors USA & Canada ROBO Global RSS feed en Sat, 20 Jul 2019 17:03:05 -0400 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Tecan is disrupting the life science and diagnostics market, says ROBO Global ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/223535/tecan-is-disrupting-the-life-science-and-diagnostics-market-says-robo-global-223535.html Analysts at ROBO Global said they were bullish on the long-term growth outlook for Tecan Group Ltd (OTCMKTS:TCHBF), an automated lab instruments and solutions provider.

Zurich, Switzerland-based Tecan is behind the groundbreaking NuQuant technology which can reduce the time to analyze a DNA sample from several hours down to just six minutes.

“This is only one example of the company’s list of innovations that have disrupted its field in the past year,” wrote ROBO Global research director Jeremie Capron and senior research analyst Nina Deka in a recent report.

READ: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

As a technology leader in lab process automation, Tecan is a member of both the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, and the new ROBO Global Healthcare Technology & Innovation Index.

Tecan stock was trading 13.8% up at $261.40 on Monday.

Driving genome sequencing

“Tecan provides the chassis, nuts, and bolts that enable genomic research and drug discovery — two of the fastest growing trends in healthcare,” wrote the analysts.

Specifically, Tecan provides the automation instruments and reagents (the substances used in the chemical analysis of the genes) to analyze specimens, develop new genome tests, and create new analysis procedures.

“With 30 years of experience in diagnostic research and commercialization, as well as extensive regulatory heavy lifting, Tecan helps its clients transition successful scientific discoveries into commercialized, FDA approved products,” wrote the analysts.

Lonza AG (OTCMKTS:LZAGY), one of the largest manufacturers of biologics products, used Tecan’s Freedom EVO platform to develop an endotoxin test, then partnered with Tecan to develop and manufacture a fully automated robotic solution for endotoxin detection.

Bullish investment case

“Tecan’s strong value proposition and favorable market dynamics make for a compelling investment story,” wrote the analysts.

The analysts noted that instruments and reagents are a “highly competitive business,” but the ability to help a client design, manufacture and commercialize their discovery is a “strong differentiator for Tecan.”

"We believe clients will continue to seek partnerships with vendors that can not only help them develop new technologies, but market them as well,” wrote the analysts.

The analysts noted that the strategy also benefits Tecan’s average customer lifespan, enabling them to “land and expand” within one client, and continue to generate revenue through these partnerships during the entire life cycle of the clients’ new products.

Tecan has a strong cash position to invest in mergers and acquisitions, according to ROBO Global.  

“The company will continue to evaluate inorganic growth targets, ranging from small bolt-ons to larger transformational acquisition opportunities,” wrote the analysts.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) was down a little at $39.3 in midday trade Monday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Mon, 08 Jul 2019 13:17:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/223535/tecan-is-disrupting-the-life-science-and-diagnostics-market-says-robo-global-223535.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global healthcare technology ETF to make NYSE debut ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/222786/robo-global-healthcare-technology-etf-to-make-nyse-debut-222786.html ROBO Global, the company behind the first benchmark index to track robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, announced Tuesday that it has a new innovative healthcare index.

The company's investment thesis will be rolled into a new exchange traded fund that will debut on the New York Exchange on Tuesday.

The ROBO Global Healthcare Technology & Innovation ETF (NYSE:HTEC) consists of 85 constituent companies in nine medical subsectors. The index will rebalance quarterly and uses a modified factor weighting scheme, meaning certain components affect the index’s value more than others

READ: ROBO Global finds the AI technologies giving HBO's 'Westworld' so much whizbang are not all fiction

The Dallas-based company partnered with Exchange Traded Concepts to create the fund. ETC also helped launch the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEArca:ROBO) in 2013.

“By and large, the healthcare industry appears to be primed for massive market growth thanks to the implementation of advanced technologies like robotics and AI,” CEO Travis Briggs said. “The healthcare AI market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate between 47-50% by 2025, a value of $36 billion.”

Contact Andrew Kessel at andrew.kessel@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

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Tue, 25 Jun 2019 09:53:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/222786/robo-global-healthcare-technology-etf-to-make-nyse-debut-222786.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global finds the AI technologies giving HBO's 'Westworld' so much whizbang are not all fiction ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/222267/robo-global-finds-the-ai-technologies-giving-hbo-s--westworld--so-much-whizbang-are-not-all-fiction-222267.html A big part of the HBO TV series "Westworld’s" appeal is its focus on artificial intelligence, which becomes ‘a character in itself,’ says a report by ROBO Global that drills down into how much of the dazzling technology in the science fiction TV series is pure-fiction and how much is based on real-world technologies.

Interestingly, ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence so it can spot marketable futuristic technology.

READ: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

The report takes a quick glimpse at the new "Westworld" Season 3 trailer and breaks down where sci-fi meets reality in the realm of robotics and AI.

0:16 Self-driving motorcycles

The report says the self-driving motorcycle seen just seconds into the trailer is similar to BMW AG’s (OTCMKTS:BMWYY) latest prototype. BMW Motorrad (the company’s two-wheeler division) introduced a real-life self-driving motorcycle in September of last year. “While it’s not a fully autonomous bike like the Westworld version, the onboard technology is being designed to provide better stability, especially in dangerous riding conditions,” said the report.

Yamaha is also working on a self-driving motorcycle, but using an entirely different approach. The company’s Motobot is a humanoid robot that operates as a driver.

Both prototypes are enabled by sensors and cameras that are available today to support advanced machine vision applications, as well as by complex computing systems that help enhance human performance behind the wheel.

0:20 Humanoid robots

Pop culture has been fixated on the concept of humanoid robots for decades. In movies and TV shows, these robots mimic humans and as they do in "Westworld" and wreak havoc.

“In the real world, humanoid robots are designed to help humans, not harm us. There are now robots that aid with autism, including NAO and Robokind, which help teach socialization and emotional reactions to people with autism,” noted the report.

Atlas, the humanoid robot, from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)-owned Boston Dynamics, is able to coordinate its arms, torso, and legs to take on jobs that are dangerous for humans. Similarly, Buddy, an emotional support robot from Blue Frog Robotics, is designed to foster empathy and the desire to interact. “Expect a wave of new, more human-like robots as the underlying technologies continue to advance,” said the report.

0:50 Flying taxis

Again, this is an area where fact and fiction are almost touching. “In the past few years, a number of major tech companies have begun testing autonomous taxi flights,” notes the report.

At the head of the pack, Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) hopes to launch its flying taxi service in Dallas and Los Angeles as early as 2023. Germany-based Lilium and Airbus’ Project Vahana both have electric versions in the works that promise to make transportation ‘greener’ by decreasing traffic and fossil fuels.

Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) completed its first autonomous air taxi flight earlier this year. “The prototype is designed to travel at distances up to 50 miles at a time and measures in at 30 feet long and 28 feet wide,” said the report.

1:03 Autonomous cars

The writers of "Westworld" didn’t have to look far to come up with the concept for an autonomous car. “Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), BMW, Mercedes, Audi AG (OTCMKTS:AUDVF), Volvo (OTCMKTS:VLVLY), and other carmakers have released vehicle models with semi-autonomous capabilities, and the technology is improving rapidly,” said the report.

How close are we to the holy grail of a "Level 5" fully autonomous vehicle?

“Expect to see these vehicles on the road in less than a decade. In fact, according to Henrik Christensen, head of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute and a ROBO Global Strategic Advisor, children born today may never have to learn to drive a car,” said the report.

This technology is so near to reality that the ROBO Global Index Series now includes numerous companies that are developing and delivering the technologies that enable autonomous vehicles, including QUALCOMM Inc (NASDAQ:QCOM), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX), and Xilinx Inc (NASDAQ:XLNX).

“The most exciting thing about this alignment between fantasy and reality is the opportunity for investors in the real world,” said the report. “The technologies that are behind these innovations are very real, and they are already shifting how we see and experience the world around us.”

Investors can buy directly into the popular ROBO ETF based on the benchmark index comprised of around 87 top robotics, automation and AI companies.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) traded 0.5% higher to $37.85 in afternoon trade in New York.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 13:55:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/222267/robo-global-finds-the-ai-technologies-giving-hbo-s--westworld--so-much-whizbang-are-not-all-fiction-222267.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global targets tech investments with growth potential in ETF Securities partnership ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/13753/robo-global-targets-tech-investments-with-growth-potential-in-etf-securities-partnership-13753.html Sun, 16 Jun 2019 21:30:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/13753/robo-global-targets-tech-investments-with-growth-potential-in-etf-securities-partnership-13753.html <![CDATA[News - ROBO Global says artificial intelligence is shaping the future of health care ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/221496/robo-global-says-artificial-intelligence-is-shaping-the-future-of-health-care-221496.html ROBO Global has released a report saying advancements in machine learning, sensing, vision, computing power and artificial intelligence are transforming health care.

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

Senior Research Analyst Lisa Chai said that even as robot-assisted surgery was making headlines, the rest of the health care supply chain seemed stuck in a pre-AI world, but all that is finally changing.

READ: ROBO Global sees US-China trade war as rare market opportunity to invest in robotics and AI stocks

“In recent years, radiologists have begun using CT and MRI scans as early screening methods, but both tests are less than perfect, delivering both too many false positives and too many false negatives, which can delay the proper treatment of the disease,” wrote Chai.

“Advancements in AI-enabled medical imaging are changing that scenario. High-speed computer processing has driven a massive leap forward in the capabilities and quality of medical imaging,” she added.

Recent research shows that when AI and pathologists reviewed images of lymph node cells in tandem, error rates dropped from 3.5% to just 0.5%.

Battling cancer

Machine learning is used to identify patterns within high-volume data sets of genetic information. The analyst said AI tools are used to “translate these patterns into computer models” that may help predict a person’s probability of developing certain diseases, as well as “identify which targeted therapies are likely to deliver the best outcome.”

“Machine learning solutions by companies like Illumina Inc (NASDAQ:ILMN) promise to address that challenge by significantly reducing the time, cost, and effort necessary to identify an appropriate target sequence,” wrote Chai.  

“The hope is that this capability will ultimately lead to the discovery of a breakthrough treatment for various types of cancer.”

At least nine health care companies including Illumina, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), Globus Medical Inc (NYSE:GMED) and Nuance Communications Inc (NASDAQ:NUAN) with headquarters in four different countries are components of the ROBO benchmark index.

Intuitive Surgical sets gold standard

ROBO Global director of research Jeremie Capron wrote in a separate report that Intuitive Surgical was setting the “gold standard” in robotic surgery.

“As the bona fide market gorilla, the company has already garnered the lion’s share of the current market, and its track record of delivering consistent quality has created a high level of customer loyalty,” wrote Capron.

The analyst expects the total addressable market to “expand dramatically” for spinal, orthopedic, and bariatric surgeries, leaving Intuitive Surgical with plenty of room to grow.  

“We anticipate continued high-teens growth in 2019 and beyond,’ wrote Capron.

In terms of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, Intuitive Surgical is considered a “pure-play” or bellwether company in the industry. In the ROBO world pure-play stocks — companies such as Intuitive Surgical and iRobot Corp (NASDAQ:IRBT)  — have an approximate 2% weighting in the nearly 87-strong ROBO index. The hybrids are individually at about 1%.

Smarter health care system

ROBO Global says the healthcare system is "becoming smarter" with the help of AI, and the net result will be "higher quality care, lower costs, and better value."

“Veeva Systems Inc (NYSE:VEEV) is designing an advanced data analytic platform that integrates AI capabilities into the clinical workflow process,” wrote Chai.

“Elekta (OTCMKTS:EKTAY) has a solution that enables oncologists to offer remote cancer monitoring treatment and patient care. Teladoc Health Inc (NYSE:TDOC) makes it possible for patients to enjoy a “virtual doctor’s visit” via a mobile phone app. Cyrcadia Health provides AI-enabled bras for early detection of breast cancer,” she added.

Nuance also empowers physicians with computer-assisted documentation software that uses AI to provide real-time patient information and documentation details."These solutions ensure proper reimbursement processes, support compliance with regulatory requirements, and help improve quality outcomes," said ROBO Global.

Chai noted that “wearable monitoring devices” were melding telemedicine with AI and predictive analytics to “connect patients and doctors from anywhere.”

Investors can buy directly into the popular ROBO ETF based on the benchmark index comprised of around 87 top robotics, automation and AI companies.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) traded 2% higher Tuesday at $36.72.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Tue, 04 Jun 2019 11:11:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/221496/robo-global-says-artificial-intelligence-is-shaping-the-future-of-health-care-221496.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global sees US-China trade war as rare market opportunity to invest in robotics and AI stocks ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/220519/robo-global-sees-us-china-trade-war-as-rare-market-opportunity-to-invest-in-robotics-and-ai-stocks-220519.html The US-China trade war induced pullback presents investors with “a rare opportunity” to increase exposure to robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) companies at discounted prices, according to a report from ROBO Global.

US stocks fell sharply this week as China moved to raise tariffs on US goods and take other retaliatory measures after Washington last week increased duties on Chinese imports and both sides appeared to harden their positions.

“We believe that such a pullback presents investors with a rare opportunity to increase exposure to robotics, automation and artificial intelligence companies at discounted prices,” wrote ROBO Global director of research Jeremie Capron. 

READ: AeroVironment is changing the landscape of precision agriculture, says ROBO Global

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

“We believe that a resolution to the trade war is likely before the G-20 summit in Osaka at the end of June,” wrote Capron.

According to ROBO Global strategic advisor and Gavekal Research CEO Louis-Vincent Gave and his team, both sides face “significant political pressure” to ultimately secure a deal.

READ: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

“President Trump needs to shore up his 2020 chances, while Xi Jinping looks to give his recently revived economy a much-needed boost and to tame critics,” wrote Capron. “Both sides also stand to lose significantly in the case of a breakdown, which would undoubtedly send the markets in a downspin.”

The report said the US and China have agreed to support significant market-access openings in a variety of sectors and to introduce “credibly tougher enforcement” of intellectual property rights and protections for foreign investors — a move likely to create a “boon” for foreign suppliers of advanced technology in the industrial robotics market.

The report noted that the earnings season has brought its “fair share” of good news so far.

“This is because order rates in China began to improve in March, with the upward climb continuing in April following improvements in credit growth early in the year and a raft of better-than-expected macro numbers in the first quarter,” wrote Capron.

Hidden gems

The report said FANUC Ltd (OTCMKTS:FANUY), the world’s biggest industrial robot company, hit a “turning point” as orders grew sequentially for the first time in five quarters. Fanuc stock is up 23% year to date.

of the world’s biggest industrial robot company

FANUC which has a vast number of industrial robots with lightweight painting arms, grippers and intelligent features has been a longtime ROBO Global index member. With over 24 million products installed worldwide, FANUC is a very familiar brand for manufacturers. It has the largest offering of robot models with payload capabilities from 0.5 to 2,300 kilograms. 

Other Japanese factory automation and robotic system exporters like Harmonic Drive Systems Inc (TYO: 6324), OMRON Corp (OTCMKTS:OMRNY), NACHI-FUJIKOSHI Corp (TYO:6474) are all up anywhere from 33% to 47% year to date, the report added. All three companies are components of the ROBO Global benchmark index.

“With China effectively bottoming, Europe poised to dodge a recession, and analysts remaining relatively downbeat, we see room for continued improvements in both fundamentals and sentiment throughout the remainder of the year,” wrote Capron.

Investors can buy directly into the popular ROBO ETF based on the benchmark index comprised of around 87 top robotics, automation and AI companies.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) traded 1.12% lower to $38.11 on a broad market pullback.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Fri, 17 May 2019 13:10:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/220519/robo-global-sees-us-china-trade-war-as-rare-market-opportunity-to-invest-in-robotics-and-ai-stocks-220519.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global anticipates significant pick up in China automation orders ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/13274/robo-global-anticipates-significant-pick-up-in-china-automation-orders-13274.html Thu, 09 May 2019 09:47:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/13274/robo-global-anticipates-significant-pick-up-in-china-automation-orders-13274.html <![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global index outpaces global equities, surges 18% in 1Q ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/13023/robo-global-index-outpaces-global-equities-surges-18-in-1q-13023.html Tue, 16 Apr 2019 13:47:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/13023/robo-global-index-outpaces-global-equities-surges-18-in-1q-13023.html <![CDATA[News - ROBO Global index surges 18.3% in 1Q as robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence stocks rebound ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/218610/robo-global-index-surges-183-in-1q-as-robotics-automation-and-artificial-intelligence-stocks-rebound-218610.html ROBO Global said Monday that it was a “banner first quarter” for robotics, automation and artificial intelligence stocks that make up its ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and AI.

The ROBO Global index surged 18%, while the Artificial Intelligence Index increased 26%, largely outpacing global equities.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO), which was up 0.7% to $41.40 in morning trade.

DEEP DIVE: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

“While the sharp rebound in equities around the world was accompanied by a continued deterioration in the macro economic outlook, earnings estimates for members of the ROBO Index stabilized in the first quarter and continue to point to 8% EPS growth in 2019,” wrote ROBO Global Director of Research Jeremie Capron in a report.

“The index is currently trading on a forward P/E of 23x, roughly in line with its five-year average of 22x,” he added.

WATCH: ROBO Global anticipates significant pick up in China automation orders

The report showed that robotics, automation and AI stocks, which closed 2018 at valuations unseen since the inception of the ROBO index in 2013, benefitted from the rebound.

“The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index jumped 18.3% in the first quarter of 2019. Consumer robotics (+41%), energy (+32%) and logistics & warehouse automation (+28%) led the gains, while security (-20%) and 3D printing (-2%) declined,” said the report.

“By region, the US and Japan were the top contributors, while Germany underperformed,” it added.

The company said the ROBO Global Artificial Intelligence Index also delivered “outstanding results,” soaring 26.3% in the first quarter to new all-time highs, on the heels of a 13.5% gain in 2018.

All 11 sectors reflected in the index saw gains, led by e-commerce, business process and data analytics, with health care and cloud providers also “delivering double-digit growth.”

Top performers

Index component Ocado Group plc (OTCMKTS:OCDGF), a leader in automation technology solutions for online retailing, was a top performer, rising 77% on the ROBO index.

“Just nine months after announcing a deal to supply Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), America’s biggest supermarket chain, with its automation solutions in up to 20 fulfilment centers across the US, Ocado has now secured an important deal with Marks & Spencer (OTCMKTS:MAKSY) and will receive approximately $1 billion for a 50% stake in a JV that will essentially put the M&S brand on Ocado’s existing online grocery business,” said the report.

The deal enables Ocado to source M&S products at cost and own exclusive rights on M&S online sales. In addition, Ocado delivered better-than-expected sales growth of 11% in the first quarter, despite the disruption caused by a fire at its Andover facility.

iRobot Corporation

The second-best performer was index component iRobot Corporation (NASDAQ:IRBT), which makes the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. It added 41% and enjoyed a strong finish to 2018 with results largely exceeding expectations, even after raising guidance twice during the year.

“Sales grew 24%, boosted by strong demand for the recently launched Roomba i7 series of high-end robots, and margins held up despite the negative impact of tariffs on products assembled in China,” wrote Capron.

iRobot also launched its long-awaited Terra robotic lawn mowers, a new category which could represent a market opportunity as large as the Roomba saw in the past decade.

“Financial targets for 2020 are impressive at 19% annualized growth over a 3-year period,” wrote Capron.

Top decliners

The laggards were Maxar Technologies Inc (NYSE:MAXR), which renounced its struggling GEO Comsat business, falling 61% for the period, and Materialise NV (NASDAQ:MTLS), which slipped 21%. The Belgium-headquartered additive-manufacturing company lowered its 2019 outlook and expects 2019 sales growth of 8% at the mid-point, significantly below the 15% CAGR of the past three years.

“While sales of its software and medical-related applications remain on a clear upswing, slower automotive markets are weighing down its printing-on-demand business,” wrote Capron.

The ROBO index is used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth. Since it’s the first major index in the robotics, automation and AI space, the ROBO index has several low-cost ETFs tied to it at the hip. 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

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Mon, 15 Apr 2019 10:16:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/218610/robo-global-index-surges-183-in-1q-as-robotics-automation-and-artificial-intelligence-stocks-rebound-218610.html
<![CDATA[News - AeroVironment is changing the landscape of precision agriculture, says ROBO Global ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/217905/aerovironment-is-changing-the-landscape-of-precision-agriculture-says-robo-global-217905.html AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ:AVAV) is helping farmers grow healthier crops and increase yields by using robotics and artificial intelligence to change the landscape of precision agriculture, according to a report by ROBO Global.

Simi Valley, California-based AeroVironment has a long history of innovation as a provider of unmanned aircraft vehicles for the defense industry. The company is best known for its Ravens and Pumas — its small, unmanned robotics systems it is now working in precision agriculture.

“The recent availability of its Quantix VTOL hybrid drone and the AeroVironment Decision Support System marks a key shift for the application of robotics and AI in the area of precision agriculture,” wrote ROBO Global senior research analyst Lisa Chai in a report. ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

READ: AeroVironment surges as drone maker posts double-digit growth in revenue

The Quantix VTOL drone is the most advanced system of its kind available to support precision agriculture.

Analysts expect the global drone market in the agriculture sector to reach $790 million by 2024, from $240 million in 2019.

The analyst noted that AeroVironment could capture “a significant portion of that market” by offering powerful drone technologies that are both simple to use and affordable.

“The new drone offers an advanced data analytics ecosystem that captures field data quickly, and then quantifies that data into actionable intelligence in a format that farmers can decipher and act on immediately,” wrote Chai.

AeroVironment has been a constant ROBO Global index member since 2013 and has delivered a 26% annualized return, up 267% from August 1, 2013 through March 6, 2019.

“As a pureplay company focused on the development and manufacturing of data-analytics-driven unmanned drones, we agree that AeroVironment is heading for the skies, and we think momentum will continue,” wrote Chai.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) was up 1.4% to $40.34 in afternoon trade Wednesday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

 

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Wed, 03 Apr 2019 15:53:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/217905/aerovironment-is-changing-the-landscape-of-precision-agriculture-says-robo-global-217905.html
<![CDATA[News - BioTelemetry's strength in cardiac monitoring puts it in the fast lane to growth, says ROBO Global ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/217356/biotelemetry-s-strength-in-cardiac-monitoring-puts-it-in-the-fast-lane-to-growth-says-robo-global-217356.html BioTelemetry Inc (NASDAQ:BEAT), a pioneer in the wireless medical technology space, is on the fast track to growth because of its strength in the mobile cardiac monitoring market, according to a report by ROBO Global.

Pennsylvania-based BioTelemetry’s flagship product, the Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT) system, gives cardiologists the ability to monitor their patients through the wearable technology they are using which shares data with their doctors through MCT transmitters.

“With the cardiac monitoring market poised to grow to $32 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 8%, Biotelemetry’s strength in this area bodes well for its future,” wrote ROBO Global senior research analyst Lisa Chai in a report. ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

READ: BioTelemetry tops 3Q estimates as patient volume growth climbs higher, raises outlook

To date, Biotelemetry’s MCOT devices have been used to monitor more than one million people per year and process over four billion heartbeats every day.

Before wearable devices like MCOT, monitoring and diagnosing heart disorders typically required hospital stays.

BioTelemetry is a ROBO Global index member and has delivered a total return of more than 443% to investors in the past three years.

Chai wrote that BioTelemetry’s newest system incorporates “unparalleled arrhythmia detection capability” into a product that can be configured as an ultralight wearable patch, or used with more traditional lead wires when patients prefer not to wear a patch.

The analyst noted that competition is brewing in the space, but BioTelemetry is doing everything to stay ahead of competition.

READ: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

Medtronic PLC (NYSE:MDT), for example, recently released its implantable cardiac monitoring system.

According to Chai, iRhythm Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:IRTC) is the second-biggest player in the space, and offers a wearable biosensor called the Zio patch. Similarly, General Electric Company’s (NYSE:GE) subsidiary GE Healthcare’s MobileLink is a wireless, integrated ECG communication solution that captures, transmits and analyzes ECG information.

“To safeguard its market leadership, BioTelemetry holds 65 US patents and 134 international patents, and it currently has 56 active patent applications,” wrote Chai.

To strengthen its competitive position, in July 2017 Biotelemetry acquired a heavy hitter in the space called LifeWatch.

It has also participated in a study which combines the iPhone, Apple Watch, and BioTelemetry’s ePatch to screen for heart rhythm abnormalities in the general population.

“Its gross margin is impressive at 63%, with additional room to expand. These numbers have bolstered investor confidence in the company’s ability to execute in every area—including research, product development, and sales,” wrote Chai.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) was down a little at $38.16 in midday trade Wednesday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

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Wed, 27 Mar 2019 13:05:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/217356/biotelemetry-s-strength-in-cardiac-monitoring-puts-it-in-the-fast-lane-to-growth-says-robo-global-217356.html
<![CDATA[News - Nuance Communications poised for ‘meaningful growth,’ says ROBO Global ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/216219/nuance-communications-poised-for-meaningful-growth-says-robo-global-216219.html Analysts at ROBO Global said Nuance Communications Inc (NASDAQ:NUAN), which provides voice recognition and speech technology solutions, is poised for “meaningful growth” as it doubles down on health care.

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

While Burlington, Massachusetts-based Nuance delivers artificial technology and applications that help cars read drivers’ minds, and virtual assistants predict users’ needs, it is doubling down on the promise of AI in healthcare.

READ: ROBO Global says surgical robots will lower health care costs

It seems the new focus is paying off. Nuance announced posted fiscal first-quarter earnings last week that beat Wall Street expectations. For the quarter ended December 2018, it posted earnings of $0.24 per share on revenue of $493.7 million. The consensus earnings estimate was $0.17 per share on revenue of $490 million.

“While healthcare was the biggest growth driver — including its Dragon Medical cloud solutions — the company also reported strong performance in both automotive and enterprise,” wrote ROBO Global senior research analyst Lisa Chai in a report.

Laser focused on health care

In 2017, Nuance expanded its portfolio by launching the Dragon Medical Virtual Assistant. Powered by AI, the tool understands conversational dialogue and automates clinical workflows.

Chai hailed new CEO Mark Benjamin’s move to streamline what had been a dizzying menu of products and solutions, “trimming five divisions down to two through spinoffs and divestitures, and honing in on the healthcare division — the crown jewel of the business.”

Nuance is also collaborating with another ROBO Global index member, Nvidia, to enable radiologists with the power of AI algorithms that are capable of scanning large quantities of medical images to match patient symptoms with the most appropriate treatments.

“Of Nuance’s $1 billion healthcare business, 50% of that revenue is coming from its document capture business,” wrote Chai.

“With the estimated Total Addressable Market (TAM) for Cloud solutions in the US sitting at about $550 million, as the market leader (Nuance currently has less than 50% of TAM, with the nearest competitor far behind), the company is looking at a significant opportunity to capture the remaining 50% of the market,” she added.

Chai added that Nuance appears to be “poised for meaningful growth over the next few years” as the company places greater emphasis on higher-margin recurring health care revenues.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) was up nearly 1.4% to $37.92.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Mon, 11 Mar 2019 14:25:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/216219/nuance-communications-poised-for-meaningful-growth-says-robo-global-216219.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global seeing annual growth in last decade of well over 20% ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12527/robo-global-seeing-annual-growth-in-last-decade-of-well-over-20-12527.html Fri, 08 Mar 2019 08:30:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12527/robo-global-seeing-annual-growth-in-last-decade-of-well-over-20-12527.html <![CDATA[News - Stratasys reports record cash from 3D printer company's 2018 operations ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/216036/stratasys-reports-record-cash-from-3d-printer-company-s-2018-operations-216036.html Stratasys Ltd (NASDAQ:SSYS) said Thursday that it finished 2018 with record cash flow from operations.

The 3D printer company said it generated $18.7 million in cash from operations during the quarter and a record $63.7 million for the full year.

WATCH: ROBO Global seeing annual growth in last decade of well over 20%

“We continue to build a strong operational foundation for future growth opportunities and to invest in accelerating new product introductions to expand our addressable markets,” Interim CEO Elchanan “Elan” Jaglom said in a statement.

Highlights for the Minneapolis- and Rehovot, Israel-based company include “positive traction” related to its PolyJet and FDM technology platforms, primarily in North America. That progress was offset partially by the impact of the US government shutdown and weakness in the European automotive industry, according to the company.

Stratasys reported fourth-quarter net income of $0.21 per share on revenue of $177.1 million, compared with $179.3 million a year earlier. For 2019, the company projected revenue of $670 million to $700 million and net income of $0.55 to $0.70 per diluted share. 

Shares of Stratasys fell $3.31 to $23.35 in Thursday’s early-afternoon Nasdaq trading.

ROBO Global index

Stratasys is a component of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

The company is helping companies in manufacturing and industrial automation to “unlock the value” being created at the convergence of the physical and digital worlds, ROBO Global said in an outlook report for 2019. The report said companies including Stratasys will act as a catalyst to create a “wave of new opportunities” this year.

The ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) was down about 2.1% to $37.75.

–This story was updated to cite ROBO Global's outlook report–

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at dennis@proactiveinvestors.com

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Thu, 07 Mar 2019 11:37:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/216036/stratasys-reports-record-cash-from-3d-printer-company-s-2018-operations-216036.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global Capital Markets head says investors should ignore market volatility, stay focused on long-term ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12496/robo-global-capital-markets-head-says-investors-should-ignore-market-volatility-stay-focused-on-long-term-12496.html Wed, 06 Mar 2019 12:17:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12496/robo-global-capital-markets-head-says-investors-should-ignore-market-volatility-stay-focused-on-long-term-12496.html <![CDATA[News - AutoDesk stock jumps after 4Q earnings beat Street estimates ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/215640/autodesk-stock-jumps-after-4q-earnings-beat-street-estimates-215640.html Autodesk Inc (NASDAQ:ADSK) stock jumped Friday after the software company posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's estimates even though it released a weak outlook for the current quarter.

For the three months ended January 31, the company posted earnings of $0.46 per share on revenue of $737.3 million. The consensus earnings estimate was $0.42 per share on revenue of $707.1 million. Revenue grew 33.1% on a year-over-year basis.

The company said it expects first-quarter earnings of $0.44 to $0.48 per share on revenue of $735.0 million to $745.0 million. The current consensus earnings estimate is $0.57 per share on revenue of $722.7 million for the quarter ending April 30, 2019.

READ: ROBO Global says artificial intelligence, robotics will create ‘wave of new opportunities’ in 2019

The company also said it expects fiscal 2020 earnings of $2.71 to $2.90 per share on revenue of $3.25 billion to $3.30 billion. The current consensus earnings estimate is $3.18 per share on revenue of $3.21 billion for the year ending January 31, 2020.

Autodesk is component of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

“The overall ability for robotic platforms to cope with a greater degree of variability will continue to drive quality improvements in all sectors,” said ROBO Global in an outlook report for 2019 that highlighted that software companies like Autodesk will act as a catalyst to create a “wave of new opportunities” this year.

“Software companies such as PTC Inc (NASDAQ:PTC), Cadence Design Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CDNS), Autodesk, Manhattan Associates Inc. (NASDAQ:MANH) and Dassault Aviation SA (OTCMKTS:DUAVF) are helping companies in manufacturing and industrial automation to unlock the value being created at the convergence of the physical and digital worlds through IoT, augmented reality, 3D printing, digital twin, and Industry 4.0.”

Autodesk shares were up 2.8% to $167.50.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) which was trading flat at $38.58 on Friday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Fri, 01 Mar 2019 10:07:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/215640/autodesk-stock-jumps-after-4q-earnings-beat-street-estimates-215640.html
<![CDATA[News - Trump’s artificial-intelligence initiative is welcome but may not keep China at bay, executives say ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/215455/trumps-artificial-intelligence-initiative-is-welcome-but-may-not-keep-china-at-bay-executives-say-215455.html President Donald Trump’s executive order directing agencies to make artificial intelligence a top priority is welcome but may not be enough to keep China from overtaking the US as a leader in the field, according to industry executives.

Trump’s executive order issued Monday directs agencies to share their data and models with AI developers and to come up with plans to help workers adapt to artificial intelligence in the workplace.

With China working on a multibillion-dollar plan for government investment into AI research and applications, ROBO Global US CEO Travis Briggs said the industry was happy to see a plan begin to take shape, even if it's “coming years later” than many had hoped.

READ: ROBO Global says surgical robots will lower health care costs

“While the US had a clear headstart in the race for global AI leadership, it was certainly not the first to set a clear and aggressive plan to lead the pack," wrote Briggs in a ROBO Global report. "China announced its own Made in China 2025 initiative more than three years ago.”

ROBO Global is the creator of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

The US government invests $1.1 billion in nonclassified AI technology, but this pales in comparison to China’s $150 billion commitment over the next decade, according to industry portal Engineering.com.

Moreover, China has made it clear that it intends to surpass the US technologically in the field by 2030.

China throws down the gauntlet

To this end, China has tasked four AI-oriented firms in China — Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU), Tencent Holding (OTCMKTS:TCEHY), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) and Iflytek Company Ltd (SHE:002230) — with developing AI hardware and software systems to handle autonomous driving and language processing so other Chinese companies can build on those AI skills.

“Considering that China has likely surpassed the US in AI startup funding and patent applications, we can’t rely exclusively on the private sector to drive innovation and derive economic enrichment from emerging technologies,” Shaukat Shamim, founder and CEO of video opinion search engine company Youplus Inc, told Forbes.

The Brookings Institution said there is "considerable concern" that the US federal government is not doing enough to support AI research and deployment.

ROBO Global’s Briggs noted that although the executive order increases access to government data for researchers and talks about the creation of a committee to establish fellowship and training programs in AI, the “plan itself is less than concrete.”

Plan lacks 'specifics'

“What the plan lacks is specifics,” wrote Briggs. “Details of the plan were released in a single-page government fact sheet that outlines these initiatives at a cursory level. The lack of detail has many wondering if it’s enough.”

Silicon Valley, America’s artificial-intelligence hotbed, has led the race in AI technologies for decades, but competition is now at its door.

“China is undoubtedly the largest threat at the moment, but other countries have also implemented aggressive plans aimed at grabbing the ring of AI leadership, including South Korea, Canada and France,” wrote Briggs. “If the US is serious about maintaining its leadership in AI, now is the time to do much more than simply announce wise intentions.”

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Wed, 27 Feb 2019 15:20:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/215455/trumps-artificial-intelligence-initiative-is-welcome-but-may-not-keep-china-at-bay-executives-say-215455.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global says surgical robots will lower health care costs ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/215083/robo-global-says-surgical-robots-will-lower-health-care-costs-215083.html ROBO Global released a report earlier this week where it highlighted that surgical robots and automation will help in countering rising global health care costs.

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

“Surgical robots can now perform complex surgeries with sub-millimeter accuracy, enabling surgeons to achieve far better patient outcomes,” according to ROBO's investor guide to health care robotics.

“Artificial intelligence is being used to view and expertly analyze medical images containing millions of cancer cells — within minutes and at a level of accuracy not possible by humans. Automation is creating enormous efficiencies across administrative and clinical research to improve and accelerate workflows.”

READ: ROBO Global says 3D printing poised for a high-growth, ‘profitable future’

According to Orian Research, the health care robotics market is expected to expand to $13.9 billion by 2023, at a compound annual growth rate of 28% over the next six years.

“Artificial intelligence is already driving revolutionary change in the medical field. But this does not mean that doctors will be replaced by medical robots. Far from it,” ROBO Global CIO and President William Studebaker earlier told Proactive Investors. “Instead, AI will continue to bolster the capabilities of physicians and the medical devices and machines they use every day to deliver better patient outcomes.”

Health care accounts for 10% of the ROBO Index, with a focus on robotics guidance and surgery, laboratory automation, genomics, and AI healthcare applications. The sector returned more than 21% in the first 11 months of 2018.

At least nine health care companies with headquarters in four different countries are components of the ROBO benchmark index.

“Today, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) is trading around $500/share but we believe they are still in the early innings of a sustainable growth story,” according to the report.

“Intuitive Surgical has a virtual monopoly on surgical robotics with its da Vinci Xi system which uses 3D vision and intuitive motion to improve minimally invasive procedures and help surgeons deliver better outcomes for cardiac, thoracic, urology, gynecologic, colorectal pediatric and general surgeries,” the report continued.

In terms of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, Intuitive Surgical is considered a “pure-play” or bellwether company in the industry. In the ROBO world pure-play stocks — companies such as Intuitive Surgical and iRobot Corp (NASDAQ:IRBT)  — have an approximate 2% weighting in the 87-strong ROBO index. The hybrids are individually at about 1%.

M&A on the rise

ROBO Global says that there will be continued investments in robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as a new wave of M&A by traditional health care companies in the medical device and instrument arena as they seek new avenues for growth.

In 2018, spine robotics surgery pioneer Mazor Robotics — which has been the best performing constituent of the ROBO Index in the past three years — agreed to be acquired by Medtronic PLC’s (NYSE:MDT) for over $1.6 billion.

Index component Globus Medical Inc (NYSE:GMED) is also making headway in this area, driving significant technological advancements across a complete suite of spinal products.

The ROBO index is used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth. Since it’s the first major index in the robotics, automation and AI space, the ROBO index has several low-cost ETFs tied to it at the hip. 

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) which was trading flat at $38.59 on Thursday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Thu, 21 Feb 2019 14:44:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/215083/robo-global-says-surgical-robots-will-lower-health-care-costs-215083.html
<![CDATA[News - Nvidia stock bounces back after 4Q earnings beat on strong server sales ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214735/nvidia-stock-bounces-back-after-4q-earnings-beat-on-strong-server-sales-214735.html Nvidia Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA) continued to rally Friday in premarket trade after posting fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' forecast, thanks to strong server sales.

The chipmaker posted earnings per share of $0.80 on revenue of $2.21 billion. The average forecast was for $0.75 on revenue of $2.20 billion.

Shares in Nvidia rose nearly 5.7% to 163.38.

READ: Deere’s fiscal 1Q earnings miss on ‘unsettled trade conditions’ in key markets

The chipmaker predicted that revenue would stay flat this year — better than what analysts were forecasting.

For the year, Nvidia said it expects “flat to down slightly” revenue, compared with the $11.72 billion it reported for fiscal 2019. This allayed the market’s worst fears as analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting a decline of 7% from 2019.

Nvidia CFO Colette Kress told analysts on the earnings conference call that the company expects inventory to return to normal levels by the end of the first quarter.

“We believe that normalized quarterly gaming business revenue run rate is approximately $1.4 billion,” Kress said. “As we look past Q1 we expect the channel inventory correction to be behind us and our business to have bottomed.”

Nvidia is a component in the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

“Nvidia continues to maintain a significant technological advantage over its competitors, a multi-year lead that is reflected in its market leadership in GPUs especially when it comes to AI applications,” said Jeremie Capron, director of research at ROBO Global. “While the decline in the fourth may appear scary to commentators focused on near-term trends, it is just a speed bump in the context of phenomenal growth in recent years.”

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO), which was up slightly at $37.77.

Lisa Chai, senior research analyst at ROBO Global said that despite a challenging backdrop, Nvidia’s outlook indicates “recovery is coming later this year.”

“Segments of the businesses they are in are going to be lumpy, but Nvidia’s story is intact and it’s beyond what they are providing for the data center industry,” said Chai. “We remain bullish on Nvidia’s long-term growth opportunity and strongly believe they will return to delivering on their upside momentum over the coming years.”

Chai noted that Nvidia is involved in “all of the secular growing business segments” with their solution sets for data centers, gaming, autos and visualization markets.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO), which was rose 1.11% to $38.19.

-- (Updates with comments from analysts at ROBO Global) -- 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Fri, 15 Feb 2019 09:09:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214735/nvidia-stock-bounces-back-after-4q-earnings-beat-on-strong-server-sales-214735.html
<![CDATA[News - Deere’s fiscal 1Q earnings miss on ‘unsettled trade conditions’ in key markets ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214721/deeres-fiscal-1q-earnings-miss-on-unsettled-trade-conditions-in-key-markets-214721.html Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) stock was flat in premarket trade Friday after the world’s biggest tractor maker, reported fiscal first-quarter profit that trailed estimates by analysts despite a solid revenue beat.

Deere posted fiscal first quarter January 2019 earnings of $1.54 per share on revenue of $8 billion. The consensus earnings estimate was $1.80 per share on revenue of $6.9 billion. Revenue grew 15.5% on a year-over-year basis.

READ: Deere & Company stock lurches after fiscal 4Q earnings miss on revenue beat

Shares in the Moline, Illinois-based company were down 1.18% to $160.50 before the opening bell.

The company affirmed its annual forecast while citing “unsettled conditions in some of our key markets.” Due to steel tariffs, the trade war is increasing the costs of making some equipment, making them less competitive.

“Although Deere has continued to make solid progress on a number of fronts and reported higher earnings for the quarter, our results were hurt by higher costs for raw materials and logistics as well by customer concerns over tariffs and trade policies,” Deere CEO Samuel Allen said in a statement.

In 2019, Deere said it sees group sales rising 7%, with equipment sales rising by a similar percentage, taking net income to around $3.6 billion. Both figures match the company's guidance from late November. 

Deere is a component in the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

Deere is an unconventional automation play in the ROBO Global benchmark index since 60% of its iconic yellow and green tractors have autonomous mobility capabilities.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO), which gained 2.9% to $37.54.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

 

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Fri, 15 Feb 2019 07:34:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214721/deeres-fiscal-1q-earnings-miss-on-unsettled-trade-conditions-in-key-markets-214721.html
<![CDATA[News - FLIR Systems’ 4Q earnings beat Street on revenue growth ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214556/flir-systems-4q-earnings-beat-street-on-revenue-growth-214556.html FLIR Systems Inc (NASDAQ:FLIR) stock climbed in premarket trade Wednesday after it posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street analyst expectations.

Shares in the Wilsonville, Oregon company climbed 3.27% to $52.50 pre-market trade.

For the quarter ended December 2018, the company reported earnings of $0.62 per share on revenue of $448.5 million. The consensus earnings estimate was $0.60 per share.

READ: ROBO Global component Teradyne’s 4Q earnings beat Street on sales surge

The company said it expects 2019 earnings of $2.30 to $2.36 per share on revenue of $1.92 billion to $1.95 billion. The current consensus earnings estimate is $2.35 per share on revenue of $1.87 billion for the year ending December 31, 2019.

“We achieved organic revenue growth and margin performance the company hasn’t reached in many years, and we delivered record adjusted earnings per share and operating cash flow,” said FLIR CEO Jim Cannon. “We are well-positioned for 2019 with strong bookings, new product launches, and the recently announced acquisitions of Aeryon Labs and Endeavor Robotics, moving us forward in the execution of our unmanned integrated systems strategy.” 

FLIR Systems announced Monday that it has entered into a deal to acquire Endeavor Robotic Holdings, a top developer of battle-tested, tactical unmanned ground vehicles from Arlington Capital Partners for $385 million in cash.

Endeavor’s mobile ground robots utilize advanced sensing in providing explosive ordnance disposal, reconnaissance, inspection, and hazardous materials support for troops, police, and industrial users at stand-off range.

FLIR Systems is one of the top 10 holdings in the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO), which gained 2.9% to $37.54.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:22:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214556/flir-systems-4q-earnings-beat-street-on-revenue-growth-214556.html
<![CDATA[News - iRobot surges after reporting 4Q results that beat Wall Street estimates ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214125/irobot-surges-after-reporting-4q-results-that-beat-wall-street-estimates-214125.html iRobot Corp (NASDAQ: IRBT) rallied Thursday a day after reporting fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street estimates.

For the three months ended December 29, the  Bedford, Massachusetts, company reported earnings per share of $0.88 on record revenue of $385 million. The average estimate of analysts was for earnings per share of $0.50 on expected revenue of $381.26 million.

The stock climbed 11% to $99.95 in Thursday's premarket trading.

READ: iRobot stock plunges despite big 3Q earnings and revenue beats

The company said demand for its Roomba i7 and i7+ robots drove holiday sales in the US. Overseas, sales in Japan were driven by demand supported by its sales and marketing programs.

For 2019, the company expects revenue of $1.28 billion to $1.31 billion, which would represent year-over-year growth of 17% to 20%.

"We are very excited about our 2018 performance and the opportunities that lie ahead,” Chairman and CEO Colin Angle said in a statement.

iRobot is a component of the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index tracking global companies focusing on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) edged up 0.2% to $37.13 at Wednesday’s close.

–This story was updated to provide the latest share prices–

Contact Dennis Fitzgerald at dennis@proactiveinvesors.com
 

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Thu, 07 Feb 2019 09:15:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/214125/irobot-surges-after-reporting-4q-results-that-beat-wall-street-estimates-214125.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global says 3D printing poised for a high-growth, ‘profitable future’ ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213931/robo-global-says-3d-printing-poised-for-a-high-growth-profitable-future-213931.html Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a “must-have competitive tool” and a key area of focus for investors in the robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI stocks universe, says a ROBO Global analyst.

ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index captures the investment opportunity in robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

Senior research analyst Lisa Chai wrote in a ROBO Global research update released over the weekend that a “high degree of customization” is causing the use of 3D printing for “end-part production to skyrocket.”

BIG PICTURE: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

As a result, Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) spent more than $29 billion on R&D last year, and are investing heavily in 3D printing solutions to speed up product development and delivery across all verticals.

“The healthcare industry is also jumping on board," wrote Chai. "The reality of affordable, high-quality 3D printers that enable mass customization in low-volume production environments is transforming the manufacturing process for prosthetics, dental care, and consumer products. 3D printing software is also playing a major role in the upside trend.”

Stratasys Ltd (NASDAQ:SSYS) and 3D Systems Corp (NYSE:DDD) are top holdings in the ROBO Global index.

Separately, Piper Jaffray recently upgraded shares of 3D printing company Stratasys to Overweight from Neutral. Piper also raised Stratasys' price target to $31, sending the stock up 1.6% to trade at $26.11 on Monday.

The process of 3D modeling is reliant on the use of sophisticated modeling software that is used to design each product, specify exactly how each item is built, and then communicate that information to the 3D printer.

“It’s no surprise that software companies led acquisitions in the space in 2018. As integration with major software partners continues to evolve over the next several years, the use of 3D printing will reach new heights,” wrote Chai.

Health care through a 3D lens

The ROBO Global Senior research analyst also drew attention to Materialise NV (NASDAQ:MTLS) headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, which incorporates over 25 years of 3D printing experience into a range of software solutions and 3D printing services for the medical industry.

“Materialise was able to completely disrupt the hearing aid industry, spurring a total shift from traditional manufacturing to manufacturing using 3D printing — and causing the market share for 3D-printed hearing aids to jump from 20% to 100% in just two years,” wrote Chai.

She wrote the company’s next target is the eyewear industry: “Offering an open digital platform that uses 3D scanning, parametric design automation, and 3D printing, Materialise is helping eyewear designers like HOYA to custom design every frame to meet the needs of the individual customer, including both anatomical and aesthetic preferences.”

Health care has been “one of the biggest early adopters” of 3D printing with companies such as 3D Systems, Stratasys, and Materialise "paving the way to industry disruption," she added.

Materialise also offers Magics Print Metal software, an easy-to-use 3D printing solution that will facilitate access to metal 3D printing.

Index member Renishaw PLC (OTCMKTS:RNSHF) is the only UK business that designs and makes industrial machines that ‘print’ parts from metal powder. The company supplies products and services used in applications as diverse as jet engine and wind turbine manufacturing, dentistry, and brain surgery.  

“While many 3D printing firms focus on simply building out existing designs using the efficiency of 3D printing processes, Renishaw focuses on design first, rethinking and reanalyzing every component to fully optimize the opportunity of 3D printing,” wrote Chai.

READ: ROBO Global says artificial intelligence, robotics will create ‘wave of new opportunities’ in 2019

“This approach is helping them deliver some of the lightest, strongest, and most innovative products available on the market today, including perfectly precise dental implants and 3D-printed pieces of the human skull used in traumatic brain surgery,” she added.

Chai acknowledged that 3D printing has been in and out of the news for years now. There’s been tremendous growth in product prototyping done with 3D printing. The technology’s ability to turn a computer design into a solid rendering quickly and economically is unrivaled.

Hype warranted

Its additive nature means far less raw material waste and promising big cost advantages as actual manufacturing takes off.  “The downward trend seems to have finally bottomed out, creating strong potential for an upside investment opportunity,” wrote Chai.

“In nearly every industry where custom manufacturing is needed, 3D printing is disrupting traditional practices. Leading the way in the footwear industry is Adidas AG (OTCMKTS:ADDYY),” she added.

Adidas is using 3D printing technology to design, prototype, and produce products that feature new materials and innovative shapes. The company has strategic plans to be the world’s biggest producer of 3D-printed footwear products as they aggressively scale productions.

The ROBO Global Index includes nearly 87 stocks across 12 subsectors in 14 countries. The index is built to minimize risk by limiting reliance on the largest-cap players, and structured to capture the growth of rapidly developing robotics and automation companies around the globe.

Since it’s the first major index in the robotics, automation and AI space, the ROBO index has several low-cost ETFs tied to it at the hip.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO), which gained 0.4% to trade at $36.61 Monday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Mon, 04 Feb 2019 14:13:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213931/robo-global-says-3d-printing-poised-for-a-high-growth-profitable-future-213931.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global CIO sees 'dramatic' changes ahead for robotics in the health care space ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12093/robo-global-cio-sees--dramatic--changes-ahead-for-robotics-in-the-health-care-space-12093.html Mon, 04 Feb 2019 09:46:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12093/robo-global-cio-sees--dramatic--changes-ahead-for-robotics-in-the-health-care-space-12093.html <![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global CIO says collaborative robots are a 'game changer' in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12019/robo-global-cio-says-collaborative-robots-are-a--game-changer--in-2019-12019.html Tue, 29 Jan 2019 08:43:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/12019/robo-global-cio-says-collaborative-robots-are-a--game-changer--in-2019-12019.html <![CDATA[News - ROBO Global component Teradyne’s 4Q earnings beat Street on sales surge ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213261/robo-global-component-teradynes-4q-earnings-beat-street-on-sales-surge-213261.html Teradyne Inc (NASDAQ:TER) stock climbed Thursday after the automated testing equipment provider for industrial applications reported fourth-quarter earnings that handily beat Wall Street estimates on strong revenue.

Last year, North Reading, Massachusetts-based Teradyne acquired Danish robotics company MiR for $148 million which expands its role in flexible, easy to use, next-generation automation products.  

Teradyne stock climbed 3.66% to $33.10 in premarket trading Thursday.

READ: Robo Global says smart factories with robots, automation will flourish in 2019

For the quarter ended December 2018, Teradyne reported earnings of $0.63 per share on revenue of $519.6 million. The consensus earnings estimate was $0.50 per share on revenue of $495.4 million. Revenue grew 8.4% on a year-over-year basis.

The company said it expects first-quarter earnings of $0.39 to $0.47 per share on revenue of $460.0 million to $490.0 million. The current consensus earnings estimate is $0.46 per share on revenue of $480.0 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2019.

“We finished 2018 with strong fourth quarter sales above the high end of our guidance driven by upside demand in our semiconductor and wireless test businesses,” said Teradyne CEO Mark Jagiela. “Gross margin for the year was at a record level due mainly to continued Universal Robots manufacturing cost reductions and a favorable product mix overall. MiR sales for the year more than doubled on a pro-forma basis.”

ROBO Global, which created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, said in its worldwide outlook report for 2019 that Teradyne’s Universal Robot, was “the leader in collaborative robots,” and would grow sales by 40 to 45%.

A bell-ringing 'bot

In October, long-limbed UR5e, made by Universal Robots and sporting a two-fingered gripper from Robotiq, rang the closing bell at the NYSE to honor the five-year anniversary of ROBO Global. It became the first cobot, or collaborative robot to ring the NYSE closing bell. A cobot can safely work alongside humans in a shared workspace.

Teradyne’s board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.09 per share, payable on 22 March 2019 to shareholders. 

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Thu, 24 Jan 2019 07:47:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213261/robo-global-component-teradynes-4q-earnings-beat-street-on-sales-surge-213261.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global says smart factories with robots, automation will flourish in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213198/robo-global-says-smart-factories-with-robots-automation-will-flourish-in-2019-213198.html ROBO Global released a worldwide outlook report for 2019 that highlighted that artificial intelligence-powered industrial robots and automation would help build smart factories. Robots will also be friends for warehouse workers helping them to fulfill online orders. 

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

“Industrial robotics will regain its spot as a prime growth driver,” according to the report, adding that China is developing an army of robots to turbocharge its economy.

READ: ROBO Global says artificial intelligence, robotics will create ‘wave of new opportunities’ in 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for a robot revolution in manufacturing to boost productivity.   

“In 2017, China had fewer than 1 robot per 100 manufacturing workers, compared with 3+ in Japan and Germany, and 6+ in South Korea and Singapore. Fanuc LTD (OTCMKTS:FANUY), Yaskawa Electric Corp (OTCMKTS:YASKY) and ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB) are well positioned to benefit,” according to the report.

Robots building robots

Swiss-Swedish robotics company ABB Ltd recently announced a $150 million investment in Shanghai, China to build the world’s most advanced, automated and flexible robotics factory — a cutting-edge center where robots make robots.

ABB has been a member of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index since its inception in 2013. The new Kangqiao manufacturing center, near ABB’s expansive China robotics campus, will combine the company’s connected digital technologies, collaborative robotics and innovative artificial intelligence research to create the most sophisticated and environmentally sustainable factory of the future.

Chinese robotic growth is forecast to exceed 20% annually through 2020.

Collaborative robotics

Cobots, or collaborative robots designed to work side-by-side with people with limited guidance, are expected to remain the “fastest growing segment of industrial robotics,” the report stated.

“2019 will be the year that robots start to perform order fulfillment for e-commerce to address the huge shortage of human workers,” said inventor Ken Goldberg, who is also a UC Berkeley professor and ROBO Global strategic advisor. “Robots grasping an increasingly diverse set of products will be made possible by advances in research, deep learning, and Cloud Robotics.”

Online fulfillment centers — where companies like Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) pick, pack and ship consumer orders require two to three times as many workers as traditional warehouses. Therefore, Kiva's robots are automating the picking and packing at Amazon warehouses. The Kiva robots — 16 inches tall and almost 320 pounds —  move at 5 mph, hauling packages that weigh up to 698 pounds. Kiva Systems co-founder Raffaello D'Andrea who is on the Robo Global advisory board sold Kiva to Amazon.com  in 2012. 

BIG PICTURE: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

The report pointed out that said Teradyne Inc’s (NASDAQ:TER) Universal Robot, was “the leader in collaborative robots,” and on track to grow sales by 40% to 45% in 2018.

In October, long-limbed UR5e, made by Universal Robots and sporting a two-fingered gripper from Robotiq, rang the closing bell at the NYSE to honor the five-year anniversary of ROBO Global. It became the first cobot, or collaborative robot, to ring the NYSE closing bell.

“The explosion of the collaborative robotics market continues. The industrial robot market has decoupled from a pure automotive and electronics focus and is seeing huge growth in markets such as food and beverage, warehousing, and logistics,” said ROBO Global CIO and President William Studebaker.

Consumer technology

The report also said the focus has “clearly shifted from next-gen smartphone devices to sophisticated, AI-powered applications.”

“The biggest impact will be in mobile AI, which will increase the connection between users and their phones via AI-enabled apps, content, and third-party features,” said the report. “Products such as TVs, refrigerators, and small electronic devices will use machine learning and deep learning techniques to communicate with users and each other.”

“I’m very excited about our game-changing new products, our vision of the smart home and iRobot’s role in it and the pipeline of new products on the horizon,” said iRobot CEO Colin Angle.

The top holdings in the index include iRobot Corp, Oceaneering International, Brooks Automation Inc (NASDAQ:BRKS), Cognex Corp (NASDAQ:CGNX) and Intuitive Surgical Inc (NASDAQ:ISRG).

Portfolio Composition

The ROBO Global Index includes nearly 87 stocks across 12 subsectors in 14 countries. The index is built to minimize risk by limiting reliance on the largest-cap players, and it is carefully structured to capture the growth of rapidly developing robotics and automation companies around the globe.

To put it into perspective, the benchmark ROBO index is to the robotics, automation and artificial intelligence universe what the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Index is to investors who want exposure to emerging markets.

The ROBO index is used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth. Since it’s the first major index in the robotics, automation and AI space, the ROBO index has several low-cost ETFs tied to it at the hip.

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) which was trading flat at $34.70 on Wednesday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Wed, 23 Jan 2019 15:33:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213198/robo-global-says-smart-factories-with-robots-automation-will-flourish-in-2019-213198.html
<![CDATA[News - ROBO Global says artificial intelligence, robotics will create ‘wave of new opportunities’ in 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213103/robo-global-says-artificial-intelligence-robotics-will-create-wave-of-new-opportunities-in-2019-213103.html ROBO Global released a worldwide outlook report for 2019 that highlighted that artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will act as a catalyst to create a “wave of new opportunities” this year.

ROBO Global created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence have been making headlines for the past few years, enabling everything from self-driving cars to a champion computer chess player. But at long last, the practical value of machine learning is being realized,” said the report.

BIG PICTURE: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

Banks are using machine learning which is a subset of AI to identify suspicious activity in real time and prevent fraud, according to the report. Retailers are also using it to personalize customer experiences and boost supply chains.

“2019 will be the year edge computing enables machine learning to reach beyond the data centers and the Cloud to play a key role in getting intelligence into robots out in the field,” said the report.

Market intelligence firm Tractica forecasts that the revenue generated from the direct and indirect application of artificial intelligence software will grow to $105.8 billion by 2025 from $5.4 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of nearly 45%.

“There is a lot of disruptive technology coming into healthcare. It will drive better patient outcomes,” Richard Lightbound, ROBO Global CEO EMEA & Asia, told Proactive London’s Andrew Scott.

Health care accounts for 10% of the ROBO Index, with a focus on robotics guidance and surgery, laboratory automation, genomics, and AI healthcare applications. The sector returned more than 21% in the first 11 months of 2018.

“Artificial intelligence is already driving revolutionary change in the medical field. But this does not mean that doctors will be replaced by medical robots. Far from it,” said ROBO Global CIO and President William Studebaker. “Instead, AI will continue to bolster the capabilities of physicians and the medical devices and machines they use every day to deliver better patient outcomes.”

READ: As large companies buy into the robotics and artificial intelligence revolution, M&A heats up

ROBO Global says that there will be continued investments in robotics and artificial intelligence, as well as a new wave of M&A by traditional health care companies in the medical device and instrument arena as they seek new avenues for growth.

In 2018, spine robotics surgery pioneer Mazor Robotics — which has been the best performing constituent of the ROBO Index in the past three years — agreed to be acquired by  Medtronic PLC’s (NYSE:MDT) for over $1.6 billion.

Index component Globus Medical Inc (NYSE:GMED) is also making headway in this area, driving significant technological advancements across a complete suite of spinal products.

Intuitive Surgical ((NASDAQ:ISRG) is also an early component of the ROBO index.

In the ROBO world pure-play stocks — companies such as Intuitive Surgical and iRobot Corp (NASDAQ:IRBT) — have an approximate 2% weighting in the 87-strong ROBO index. The hybrids are individually at about 1%.

“In 2019, we expect another year of double-digit EPS growth as industrial and factory automation markets bottom out before summer, and structural growth in demand continues across a variety of other robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAAI) technologies such as sensing, computing, and AI, and applications including logistics, healthcare, and 3D printing, among others,” said the report.

To put it into perspective, the benchmark ROBO index is to the robotics, automation and artificial intelligence universe what the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Index is to investors who want an exposure to emerging markets. 

The ROBO index is used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth. Since it’s the first major index in the robotics, automation and AI space, the ROBO index has several low-cost ETFs tied to it at the hip. 

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) which was trading flat at $35 on Tuesday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 16:35:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/213103/robo-global-says-artificial-intelligence-robotics-will-create-wave-of-new-opportunities-in-2019-213103.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global's Richard Lightbound discusses its 2019 outlook for AI and robotics ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/11941/robo-global-s-richard-lightbound-discusses-its-2019-outlook-for-ai-and-robotics-11941.html Tue, 22 Jan 2019 08:49:00 -0500 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/11941/robo-global-s-richard-lightbound-discusses-its-2019-outlook-for-ai-and-robotics-11941.html <![CDATA[Media files - Robo Global Index continues to show strong returns on 5th anniversary ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/10915/robo-global-index-continues-to-show-strong-returns-on-5th-anniversary-10915.html Thu, 18 Oct 2018 14:58:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/10915/robo-global-index-continues-to-show-strong-returns-on-5th-anniversary-10915.html <![CDATA[News - ROBO Global, world’s first benchmark index to track robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, turns five ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/207302/robo-global-worlds-first-benchmark-index-to-track-robotics-automationand-artificial-intelligence-turns-five-207302.html Wednesday marked the fifth anniversary of the launch of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index, the world’s first benchmark index to track global companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. And, its growth has been explosive.

Since its inception in 2013, the index has returned a compound annual 19%, comfortably outperforming other benchmarks. The ROBO index is now used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth and financial institutions use it as a basis for exchange-traded funds, also known as ETFs.

The ROBO Global management team was at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Wednesday for a day-long investor event to mark the five-year anniversary of the ROBO index.

“Our mission remains the same as it was five years ago — to provide investors turnkey access to the transformative power of robotics, automation and artificial intelligence,” said Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global US.

A bell-ringing 'bot

Long-limbed UR5e, made by Universal Robots and sporting a two-fingered gripper from Robotiq, rang the closing bell at the NYSE to honor the five-year anniversary of ROBO Global. It became the first cobot, or collaborative robot, to ring the NYSE closing bell. A cobot can safely work alongside humans in a shared workspace.

“We have long admired Universal Robots as a pioneer and global leader in the collaborative robotics market,” said Briggs. “Since acquiring Universal Robotics in 2015, Teradyne has been a key growth driver in the ROBO Global Index. We are thrilled that Teradyne ((NYSE:TER) generously agreed to join the ROBO Global team for this one-of-a-kind NYSE bell ringing."

Investors can buy directly into the popular ROBO ETF based on the benchmark index comprised of 87 top robotics, automation and AI companies.

BIG PICTURE: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

Five years ago, when the ROBO Global team partnered with Exchange Traded Concepts to launch the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF (NYSEArca:ROBO), it marked the first time such an investment strategy was available.

The increased investor appetite for exposure to robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAAI) stocks is reflected in the size of the ETF, which crossed $2.08 billion in assets under management in September 2018.

The fund, which has delivered a 68.85% cumulative return since inception, invests in 87 top robotics, automation and AI companies across the globe.

“The reason we invest in the ETF is the high active share which utilizes in-depth research which is implemented in a particular way,” said Michael Venuto, chief investment officer at TOROSO Investments.  

From inception to investment

Half the index is made up of companies that are linked to the enabling technologies of robotics and automation. Those enabling technologies include sensors, processors, machine vision, computing, AI and actuation, which is a set of components that allow robots to move.

“We want to get investors from point A to point B in a least turbulent air space as possible which is why we have the construction of the index like we do,” said ROBO Global CIO and president William Studebaker. "It gives global exposure to the value chain of RAAI companies, across 14 countries in developed and emerging markets."

To create the index, ROBO Global tapped into a panel of experts, mainly Ph.Ds, who are entrepreneurs, academics and rock stars in the RAAI universe. Today, there are 10 advisors who augment a full-time team that goes out and identifies potential stocks for the index.

Kiva Systems co-founder Raffaello D'Andrea is on the advisory board and has strong street cred — he sold Kiva to Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 2012. Kiva's robots automate the picking and packing at Amazon warehouses. The robots — 16 inches tall and almost 320 pounds — can move at 5 mph, hauling packages that weigh up to 698 pounds.

D'Andrea’s Zurich-based indoor drone company Verity Studios might be the only robotics company that can say it has toured with Metallica, Canadian rapper Drake and performed with Cirque du Soleil. Miniature autonomous drones made by D'Andrea’s Verity Studios have created stunning lighting and stage effects for sold-out concert spectaculars.   

“At Kiva, our business model called for having more than 1,000 mobile robots loose in a warehouse, running 24/7. The challenge was that in 2003, when we started Kiva, we had to figure out how to make a large multi-robot system super-reliable using inexpensive components,” D'Andrea said at the ROBO Global anniversary event.  

“We had to overcome a similar challenge at Verity Studios. Our flying machines have logged more than 30,000 flights, most of them above people. Ensuring that our autonomous drones perform reliably night after night was a key priority for us, as was safety. As a result, we have developed some extremely powerful, and cost-effective, failsafe technology,” said D'Andrea.

Self-assembling robots

Jeremie Capron, director of research at ROBO Global, moderated a panel discussion on emerging trends in robotics and asked what the future holds for robotics given the rapid pace of change in the field as well as in associated areas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“One way to accelerate robot development is to create robots that can build themselves — and reconfigure themselves into whatever shape is best for performing the task at hand,” said well-known roboticist Daniela Rus, the director of MIT’s groundbreaking Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).

Rus said that robot cells created at MIT can assemble themselves into different shapes. With no human controlling them, these dice-sized blocks can climb atop one another, assembling themselves into various patterns. Rus predicted that we will soon be able to create smaller, more sophisticated cells that can assemble themselves into a snakelike robot that can slither through small places, then reassemble itself into a slinky that can climb stairs.

She also talked about how we would be able to use robots to perform surgery with no incision, no risk of infection, and no pain with the help of an ingestible origami robot. She demonstrated the concept for the audience with a video of simple stomach surgery performed by a tiny robot inside an artificial stomach.

ROBO Global recently expanded its advisory board to include Rus as one of its advisers.

“We are surrounded by opportunity and those opportunities are only going to get greater as we utilize robotics and AI,” said Rus.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

-- Updates with panel discussion details and quotes --

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Wed, 17 Oct 2018 19:00:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/207302/robo-global-worlds-first-benchmark-index-to-track-robotics-automationand-artificial-intelligence-turns-five-207302.html
<![CDATA[News - As large companies buy into the robotics and artificial intelligence revolution, M&A heats up ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/205796/as-large-companies-buy-into-the-robotics-and-artificial-intelligence-revolution-ma-heats-up-205796.html Dublin-based medical device maker Medtronic PLC’s (NYSE:MDT) 1.6 billion buyout of Israel’s Mazor Robotics Ltd (NASDAQ:MZOR) is a prelude to hectic M&A activity in the robotics and artificial intelligence space, says Jeremie Capron, director of research at ROBO Global.

ROBO Global created the world’s first benchmark index to track global companies that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence.

It was quick to spot Mazor Robotics as an investment idea way back in 2013 after the great robotic flameout of the 1980s and 1990s, when hundreds of robot products from numerous startups had failed.

Medtronic is now banking on Mazor to boost its technology for robotic-assisted spine surgeries.

“Mazor Robotics has been in the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index for almost five years, and was one of the first additions to our index back in 2013. We have a positive outlook for the future of Mazor as part of Medtronic,” Capron told Proactive Investors. 

BIG PICTURE: ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence

Since its inception in 2013, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index has grown significantly. Over the last five years it has returned a compound annual 19%, comfortably outperforming other benchmarks. 

The creators of the ROBO index are bullish on medical robot companies.  

“Surgical robotics will continue to transform healthcare and we are still in the early stages. Mazor X has been well received by the spinal surgeon community and recent clinical studies have confirmed the numerous benefits of incorporating robotics technology in spine surgery procedures, including a significant reduction in the need for secondary back surgeries,” said Capron.

Mazor's core platform technology includes the Mazor X Robotic Guidance System, and the Renaissance Surgical-Guidance System, which are transforming spinal surgery from freehand procedures to accurate, guided procedures. By combining Medtronic's market-leading spine implants, navigation, and intra-operative imaging technology with Mazor's robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) systems, Medtronic intends to offer a “fully-integrated procedural solution” for surgical planning and execution.

The companies plan to showcase their technology integration at the upcoming North American Spine Society annual meeting in Los Angeles next week.

Medtronic expects the transaction to be “modestly dilutive” to its fiscal 2019 adjusted earnings per share. However, the device maker expects the acquisition to “generate a double-digit return on invested capital by year four, with an increasing contribution thereafter.”

M&A activity heating up

The growing demand for minimally invasive surgeries has catapulted the expansion of the market for surgical robots and there is rapid consolidation in the medtech space.

“We believe the M&A trend will continue not just in surgical robotics, but within the entire robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAAI) value chain spanning nearly every sector of the market,” said Capron.  

“It's an extremely active area of M&A and we see more action in the future as large companies like Medtronic look to acquire their way into the robotics and artificial intelligence revolution,” he added.

At least 28 robotics startups have raised money to the tune of $3.7 billion this year with over 11 acquisitions and two IPOs.

Rise of the robots 

Some of the key players in the robot universe are Intuitive Surgical Inc (NASDAQ:ISRG), Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Google Life Sciences, Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK), Transenterix Inc (NYSE:TRXC), Mazor Robotics, and Hansen Medical. Intuitive Surgical leads the surgical robotics market with its da Vinci surgical robot, that generates close to $3.5 billion in annual revenue and has a $64 billion market cap.

“We continue to see a long runway for growth for both large and small-cap surgical robotics companies. Intuitive Surgical enjoys significant competitive advantages in minimally invasive abdominal surgery,” said Capron.

Intuitive Surgical is also an early component of the ROBO index.

“We created the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index in an effort to provide investors turnkey access to the entire RAAI value chain, and are particularly bullish on the potential these technologies bring to the healthcare sector,” said Capron. “Surgical robotics is one of the most promising applications of these high-end technologies, but lab automation, healthcare research and DNA sequencing also have tremendous growth potential in healthcare.”

The ROBO index is used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth and financial institutions use it as a basis for exchange-traded funds, also known as ETFs.

Investors can buy directly into the popular ROBO ETF based on the benchmark index comprised of 87 top robotics, automation and AI companies.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:20:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/205796/as-large-companies-buy-into-the-robotics-and-artificial-intelligence-revolution-ma-heats-up-205796.html
<![CDATA[Media files - ROBO Global sees massive growth in robotics industry in months ahead ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/10189/robo-global-sees-massive-growth-in-robotics-industry-in-months-ahead-10189.html Tue, 21 Aug 2018 08:26:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/stocktube/10189/robo-global-sees-massive-growth-in-robotics-industry-in-months-ahead-10189.html <![CDATA[News - ROBO Global captures the high-octane growth of robotics and artificial intelligence ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/202889/robo-global-captures-the-high-octane-growth-of-robotics-and-artificial-intelligence-202889.html The search for investment ideas and the fear of missing out have left too many investors chasing a handful of tech darlings, resulting in overextended valuations. As FAANG stock growth slackens, Wall Street is now eyeing robotics, automation and artificial intelligence to capture the upside from the wave of disruptive innovation. 

“We created the first benchmark index to track companies on a global basis that focus on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, which we refer to by the acronym RAAI,” Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global US, told Proactive Investors. 

“It was created because we came across an investment that we recognized was going to be a multi-decade growth opportunity,” added the Wall Street veteran, who started as an analyst with Bank of America, before stepping into the hedge fund industry. 

Since its inception in 2013, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index has grown significantly. Over the last five years it has returned a compound annual 19%, comfortably outperforming other benchmarks. 

First-mover advantage 

To put it into perspective, the benchmark ROBO index is to the robotics, automation and artificial intelligence universe what the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Index is to investors who want an exposure to emerging markets. 

The ROBO index is used as a performance benchmark for funds and market growth. The index is also licensed to financial institutions and used extensively by the research community. Financial institutions use the ROBO index as a basis for exchange-traded funds, also known as ETFs. 

To develop the first index that tracks RAAI stocks, ROBO Global started from scratch by building out the ecosystem and defining the entire value chain of robotics and automation. 

“To get this off the ground, it was critical to bring in not only the financial experts but the industry experts — the entrepreneurs and pioneers in the field that could help us really define the universe of robotics and automation. And the result is interesting,” said Briggs. 

“We ended up with a classification system of 12 different subsectors, dividing the value chain into two primary categories — technologies and applications,” he added. 

Rise of the robots 

Half the index is made up of companies that are linked to the enabling technologies of robotics and automation. Those enabling technologies include sensors, processors, machine vision, computing, AI and actuation, which is a set of components that allow robots to move. 

The other half of the index, he said, is made up of the "end market" or applications — the applications consist of end-use robotics. 

“There you see where robotics is penetrating different areas of the economy. Industrial manufacturing all the way to logistics automation, health care, consumer products, energy, precision agriculture and even into 3D printing and surveillance,” explained Briggs. 

Star-studded strategic advisory team 

To create the index, ROBO Global tapped into a panel of experts, mainly Ph.Ds, who are entrepreneurs, academics and rock stars in the RAAI universe. Today, there are 10 advisors who augment a full-time team that goes out and identifies potential stocks for the index. 

Kiva Systems co-founder Raffaello D'Andrea is on the advisory board and has strong street cred — he sold Kiva to Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) in 2012. Kiva's robots automate the picking and packing at Amazon warehouses. The robots — 16 inches tall and almost 320 pounds — can move at 5 mph, hauling packages that weigh up to 698 pounds. 

READ: Top roboticist Daniela Rus joins ROBO Global advisory board

Notably, ROBO Global recently expanded its advisory board to include well-known roboticist Daniela Rus, the director of MIT’s groundbreaking Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). 

“The ROBO Global advisory board is a dream team of robotics and AI professionals who are on the front lines of these disruptive technologies,” said Rus, who is an Engelberger Robotics award winner.  

It's the team that ROBO Global has been able to put together that differentiates the product and gives it the ability to really understand where the puck is going in robotics and artificial intelligence.  

Diversification is a battle cry 

From a standing start five years ago, ROBO Global now has a database of 1,000 companies compiled with the help of its in-house team and the strategic advisory board. It has a proprietary database of 300 publicly traded companies that they use for selecting companies for the index. In addition, the database includes 700 private companies, as ROBO finds it helpful to monitor for IPOs, acquisitions and technology breakthroughs. 

“I think what’s compelling is that collectively you end up with an index of 12 subsectors, 87 different companies from 15 countries. It is global in nature: 40% US, 60% international so it is very diverse,” said Briggs. 

“The result is a broad index. We've captured the entire value chain, allowing the investor to experience the smoothest, least volatile ride as the industry continues to expand,” he added. 

In the ROBO world the pure-play stocks — companies such as Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) and iRobot Corp (NASDAQ:IRBT) — have an approximate 2% weighting in the 87-strong ROBO index. The hybrids are individually at about 1%. 

Quarterly updates see the weightings of all companies reset to approximately 2% and approximately 1% also making way for more companies to join. This ‘sell-high-buy-low’ approach has served the ROBO Global index well and helped contribute to a 46% rise in its value last year. 

Separating out the wheat from the chaff 

Potential index members pass through a series of quality filters before becoming eligible for index membership. 

“We'll start with 300 companies and put them through a few of the market filters: revenue purity, classification fit, minimum revenue threshold. We do have an Environmental, Social and Governance policy. We apply three additional screens: minimum market cap, liquidity, limit the percentage of ownership, and the free float of the companies,” said Briggs. 

As a result, it’s a very stable index and investors typically don’t see more than two or three changes to the portfolio in a quarter. Small and mid-cap companies comprise at least 75% of the index. 

ROBO index popular with ETFs 

Since it’s the first major index in the robotics, automation and AI space, the ROBO index has several low-cost ETFs tied to it at the hip. 

Assets under management that track the ROBO Global index add up to US$3.8bn and include ETFs in the US, London, and licensed products in Asia (two in Korea), one in Australia, and a relationship in Taiwan.  

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (NYSEARCA:ROBO) which traded 0.69% higher to US$40.51 midday Tuesday. It has US$2.1bn assets under management and the ETF provider is Exchange Traded Concepts. 

ROBO also provides its expertise to Legal & General Investment Management's US$1.2bn ROBO Global Robotics and Automation GO UCITS ETF. 

These index ETFs seek to track the ROBO Global benchmark index as closely as possible and minimize tracking error. 

“We have several companies in the index that provide the picks and shovels to Amazon,” said Briggs. 

The top holdings in the index include iRobot Corp, Oceaneering International, Brooks Automation Inc (NASDAQ:BRKS), Cognex Corp (NASDAQ:CGNX) and Intuitive Surgical Inc (NASDAQ:ISRG). 

Logistics automation has been the best-performing subsector in the index as it’s anchored by explosive growth in e-commerce. Healthcare is also driving growth with robotic surgeries becoming more widely adopted.  

Fortunately for investors, since ROBO Global offers “a multi-decade growth opportunity” there’s no such thing as being late to the party.

“We are in the first inning of this significant inflection point in what I would call the growth curve of RAAI,” said Briggs.  

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:50:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/202889/robo-global-captures-the-high-octane-growth-of-robotics-and-artificial-intelligence-202889.html
<![CDATA[News - Top roboticist Daniela Rus joins ROBO Global advisory board ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/200518/top-roboticist-daniela-rus-joins-robo-global-advisory-board-200518.html ROBO Global, the creator of the first index that tracks robotics, automation and artificial intelligence (RAAI) stocks, has expanded its advisory board to include well-known roboticist Daniela Rus, the director of MIT’s groundbreaking Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Library (CSAIL).

Rus, an Engelberger Robotics award-winner, joins a team that identifies potential constituent stocks for the index.

The index assesses companies in twelve sub-sectors incuding energy, consumer products, food & agriculture, 3D printing, security, healthcare, logistics and manufacturing. 

“Our advisory board is comprised of some of the brightest minds in robotics, automation and AI to ensure that our indices and investment strategies deliver exposure to the leading companies in these fields,” said ROBO Global US CEO Travis Briggs. “Dr Rus’ extensive experience studying and educating others on robotics and AI will perfectly complement the expertise of existing board members, further enhancing our ability to aggressively monitor these emerging technologies and ultimately, help investors capitalize on their rapid growth.”

As the head of CSAIL, Rus helps lead research and outreach for research in the fast-developing converging areas of robotics and computer science.

“The ROBO Global advisory board is a dream team of robotics and AI professionals who are on the front lines of these disruptive technologies,” said Rus. “I look forward to contributing to such a powerful, knowledgeable team of industry experts and working with ROBO Global’s management team to help capture the potential of computer science and AI for investors.”

ROBO Global provides its expertise to the US-listed Robo Global Robotics and Automation exchange traded fund (NYSEARCA:ROBO) which closed nearly 1% up to US$41 Tuesday.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at uttara@proactiveinvestors.com

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

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Tue, 10 Jul 2018 16:32:00 -0400 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/200518/top-roboticist-daniela-rus-joins-robo-global-advisory-board-200518.html