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Robotics to Take Centerstage in 2020: 5 Stocks in Focus

Sreoshi Bera

Robotics is playing a wider role in contemporary life be it in business or household. The industry is booming in the automotive, healthcare and defense sectors over the past few years. And now, it is being intensively used for service, education and emotional care.

With developments happening at lightspeed, thanks to the growth in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the robotics industry should see an upward trend this year. As such, the global industrial robotics market is expected to reach an encouraging value of around $24 billion by 2025.

What’s Driving the Robotics Space?

Robotics is now being used more to perform complicated procedures than just repetitive tasks, from minimally invasive surgery to exploring oceans for untapped oil deposits and much more. Additionally, the rise in aging population has also boosted the space, with health monitoring and self-treatment, hyping demand especially among elders and for eldercare.

Moreover, expansion of robotics in industrial and financial sectors are growing at a healthy pace. Per a Gartner report, new tech trends like edge computing, automation and AI, blockchain, and autonomous machines and robotics will take over as the primary drivers of IT spending. This will in turn help the 3.7% rebound in 2020 global IT spending.

And why not? Robots can deliver higher-quality products and services, and save cost and time efficiently. It has found implication throughout the medical, defense, agriculture, logistics, maintenance, security, construction, and even services like rescue and cleaning.

CES 2020: A Bot Show

Robots were in the limelight at CES 2020 gadget show held in Las Vegas. The arena was crowded with personal service robots that finds usage in domestic, entertainment and leisure areas. Most of the robotic companies are focused on service, education and emotional care as the major theme.

Robots in classroom are in vogue these days, with the practice of digitizing classrooms turning in a global trend, companies are trying to make the most of this growth. Tiny robots designed to teach foreign languages to coding languages are grabbing attention. For example: Emys, a robot designed to teach English to the age group 3 to 9 can speak in a child-like voice. Additionally, the robot can react to being petted, and could sneeze and cough like humans.

Digital health has been in focus lately, and robots are now setting foot to replace tele callers, who offer telehealth and teletherapy. These robots are designed to help overcoming stress, loneliness or other emotions. Tombot at CES demonstrated Jennie, an animatronic dog, designed to offer companionship to seniors with dementia. The company has also received orders for developing similar tech for autistic and PTSD patients.

Among the attendees were Delta Air Line's CEO, who illustrated the Guardian XO robot, an exoskeleton that is designed to help freight workers load cargo. While Aitheon, the digital ecosystem provider demonstrated a robotic arm that could be used in a warehouse.

5 Stocks in Focus

Robots are gaining traction with digital assistants becoming part of our daily lives. With the generations feeling lost without their smartphones, increased human and machine interaction only gives further boost to the robotic space.

Moreover, a Research and Markets report states that the global robotics market is expected to see a CAGR of 25% between 2019 and 2024. Given the recent development in the robotics space we have shortlisted five stocks that cannot be overlooked as the industry grows.

PTC Inc. PTC operates as a software and services company. The company’s ThingWorx platform helps in connecting multiple devices to capture data, enabling them to analyze and manage physical assets. PTC has been a key driver of smart automation and provides the essence of IoT.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 34.2% compared with the Zacks Computer - Software industry’s projected earnings growth of 4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.5% upward over the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Raytheon Company RTN develops integrated products, services, and solutions for the defense and other government markets. Additionally, the company also designs robots to help soldiers on the ground and autonomous aircraft to defend the skies, that includes autonomous drones. Recently, the company is working on an exoskeleton that helps logistics personnel move heavy military equipment.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is nearly 12% compared with the Zacks Aerospace - Defense Equipment industry’s projected earnings growth of 8.6%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.2% upward over the past 60 days. Raytheon carries a Zacks Rank #2.

Rockwell Automation, Inc. ROK provides industrial automation and digital transformation solutions. The company offer a variety of motion control solutions, and provides the back-end software to put its hardware into action.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 2.9% against the Zacks Industrial Automation and Robotics industry’s projected earnings decline of 16.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 1.1% upward over the past 60 days. Rockwell Automation carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Zebra Technologies Corporation ZBRA designs, manufactures and sells a range of automatic identification and data capture products. This Zacks Rank #3 company offers a range of barcode readers, scanners, and mobile computers that are essential for smart manufacturing and logistics.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 18.3% compared with the Zacks Manufacturing - Thermal Products industry’s projected earnings growth of 5.9%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.4% upward over the past 90 days.

Stryker Corporation SYK operates as a medical technology company. It makes robotic-arm assisted surgery machines and its Mako robots assist surgeons in joint surgeries for partial and total hip and knee replacements. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 12.6% against the Zacks Medical - Products industry’s projected earnings decline of 0.2%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current-year earnings has been revised 0.1% upward over the past 90 days. Stryker carries a Zacks Rank #3.

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