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Robotics Turns Indispensable as Coronavirus Tightens Grip: 5 Picks

Zacks

Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN announced on Jun 26 that it will be acquiring self-driving startup Zoox for roughly $1.2 billion. Amazon over the past few years has invested in a variety of self-driving auto startups but this is by far its boldest move.

Robotics is gradually becoming a houseold requirement. Amazon isn’t the only company that is shifting focus toward the robotics industry. From automotive to healthcare to defense, robotics has played a significant role in shaping our lives over the past few years. The coronavirus pandemic has made it all the more important as robotics ease the burden of social distancing to some extent.

Amazon Takes a Big Leap

Amazon’s acquisition of Zoox comes at a time when social distancing, contactless delivery and payment have become the new normal to avoid the spread of the contagious coronavirus. Amazon said the deal will help bring Zoox’s “vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality.” However, Zoox will continue to operate as a standalone business within Amazon.


It’s not immediately clear what Amazon plans to do with Zoox’s technology, but it’s likely that the e-commerce giant will integrate Zoox’s offerings into its logistics network to offer cheaper and faster delivery. Zoox might also be used in Amazon’s cashierless grocery stores, which have become all the more important in the COVID-19 era.

Amazon had earlier made multiple investments in the self-driving space. These include the $700 million investment in electric vehicle start-up Rivian and in Aurora.

Robotics Poised to Grow

Robotics particularly has flourished over the past few years in areas like healthcare, automotive and defense. Companies like Alphabet, Inc.’s GOOGL, Waymo, General Motors’ GM Cruise, Uber UBER, Tesla, Inc. TSLA, Ford Motor Company F and a host of start-ups have been developing the autonomous car technology for several years now.

Aside from repetitive tasks, robotics is now being used more to perform complicated procedures such as minimally invasive surgery to exploring oceans for untapped oil deposits and much more. Moreover, since the COVID-19 outbreak, robotics is being used in healthcare to minimize human-to-human contact.

From sanitizing hospitals, homes and workplaces to monitoring, surveying, handling and delivering food and medicines to patients, robots are coming to the aid of healthcare workers, thus lowering their risk of exposure. According to a new report from ReportLinker the global service robotics market is expected to witness a CAGR of 21.8% between 2020 and 2026.

Our Choices

Robots are gaining traction with digital assistants becoming part of our daily lives. While the disruption caused by the coronavirus is making it difficult to do any sort of business, and growing losses are forcing some organizations to rethink spending plans, many organizations are taking the help of robotics because at least robots don’t fall sick!

We have shortlisted five stocks that are poised to grow as robotics becomes an integral part of our lives.

ABB Ltd ABB is a leading power and automation technology company, offering a wide range of products systems, solutions and services that are designed to boost industrial productivity and energy efficiency.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 47.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 9.4% over the past 60 days. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Tesla, Inc. has evolved into a dynamic technology innovator. It has transformed the EV market and is the market leader in battery-powered electric car sales in the United States, owning around 60% of market share.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year more than 100%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.4% over the past 60 days. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2.

Zebra Technologies Corporation ZBRA builds tracking technology and solutions that generate actionable information and insight, giving companies unprecedented visibility into their businesses by giving physical things a digital voice.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 28.3%. Its shares have gained 33.5% in the past three months. The company sports a Zacks Rank #1.

NVIDIA Corporation NVDA makes chips that power heavy computational and memory requirements of AI, and generally generates revenues from gaming GPUs. The company has made AI advancements in other markets that include upscaling 1080p videos to 4K resolutions with deep learning and providing AI services for 5G networks and IoT.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 36.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 4.9% over the past 60 days. The company holds a Zacks Rank #2.

PTC, Inc. PTC provides software solutions and services globally, that aid manufacturing companies to design, operate, and manage products. The company offers comprehensive portfolio of software solutions comprising computer-aided design modeling, product lifecycle management, data orchestration, and experience creation products.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 39.6%. Its shares have gained 28% in the past three months. PTC holds has a Zacks Rank #2.

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