Sunday, September 08, 2013

Will the Robot Takeover of the World Benefit Robotics Stocks?

If you are watching 60 Minutes this evening, you would have seen the initial segment on robots in the business world. Although much of the focus was on the loss of American jobs due to the increased utilization of robotics in industry, it was pointed out that robots are eliminating the use of overseas workers. One company mentioned that by buying a robot, based on the robot's life span, it works out to about three and a half dollars an hour. (Of course, companies don't have to provide medical insurance or any other benefits for their robots.)
If you want to invest in robotics stocks, the simple way would be to go with the Robot ETF. But if you want to pick and choose your robot stocks, you have a wide variety to choose from, including flying drone and 3D printer companies.
iRobot (IRBT) is one of the pure plays in the robot industry. This Bedford, Massachusetts company, which trades on NASDAQ, produces the Roomba vacuum cleaner, the PackBot police and military robots, medical robots, and underwater research robots. The stock trades at 37 times trailing earnings and 31 times forward earnings. Latest quarterly earnings were up 12.5% on a 17% rise in revenues. This debt-free company has $5.34 in cash per share.
ABB Ltd. (ABB), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, is a Swiss company that has about 200,000 robots around the world. It is also involved in the production of power and low voltage products. The stock trades at 18 times current earnings and 14 times forward earnings. In addition, it provides investors with a decent yield of 3.2%, payable quarterly. Earnings for the latest reported quarter were up 16.3% on a 5.8% rise in revenues.
Adept Technology (ADEP) is a Pleasanton, California based robotics company, including robot hardware, software, and vision. The stock trades at 12 times forward earnings. Earnings for this debt free company were negative for the latest quarter.
To access a free list of dozens of the robot companies, which includes price earnings information along with the company's connection to robotics, go to
Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.

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