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Since being inaugurated on January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump has pursued a policy of discouraging manufacturers from leaving the United States. As a result, more businesses, large and small, have turned towards robotics technologies to keep labor costs down. While this trend may sound alarming for the American worker, recent trends point to rising domestic employment in these industries that would otherwise exit American shores. On the whole, Investors positioned in companies pursuing robotic technologies are continuing to be rewarded as business continues to shift toward high tech business solutions, a trend that appears likely to continue. Companies in the industry with recent developments and market performances include: Cognex Corporation, Generation Next Franchise Brands, Rockwell Automation, Inc., Intuitive Surgical, INC. and Teradyne Inc.
Cognex Corporation, leaders in vision-guided robotics, reported results for its 2016 fourth quarter. For the quarter ended December 31, 2016 total revenues grew to $129.32 million, net earnings increased to $38.25 million due to operating margin improvements and net margins widened from 19.29% to 29.58% compared to the same period last year. CGNX closed up on Monday trading on 576,694 at $80.81.
Generation Next Franchise Brands Inc., developer, distributor and franchisor of automated robotic frozen yogurt kiosks will begin exploring licensing opportunities of its patent portfolio for self-serve robotic applications in additional food and beverage verticals. Additionally, in its most recent quarterly report, the company announced a 128% increase in deferred revenue, $18.5 million compared to $8.1 million, resulting from strong pre-sales of its robotic frozen kiosks. On Monday, SeeThruEquity, contributor to Thomson One Analytics and Capital IQ, Raised revenue forecast for FY2018 to $32mm and increased their one year price target to 1.50. VEND closed up on Monday trading on 32,290 at $0.7699.
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world's largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, declared a quarterly dividend of 76 cents per share on its common stock, payable on March 10, 2017, to shareowners of record at the close of business on Feb. 21, 2017. IRBT closed down on Monday trading on 816.583 at $152.85.
Intuitive Surgical, INC., designer and manufacturer of the da Vinci surgical systems was reiterated as a Buy and the price objective was raised to $800 from $770 (versus a $710.70 prior close) at Merrill Lynch. Intuitive Surgical's free cash flow was called undervalued, and a peer-multiple would generate a share price of closer to $900. The 52-week trading range is $525.64 to $727.25, and the consensus analyst price target is $742.86. ISRG closed up on Monday trading on 293,445 at $767.32.
Teradyne Inc., a leading supplier of automation equipment for test and industrial applications, has been strong growth from its Universal Robots division (acquired in 2015) as it continues to gain market share in developing markets. The President of Universal Robots Jürgen von Hollen is projecting 50% revenue growth in 2017. TER closed up on Monday trading 1,122,626 at $30.85