The number of robotics and automation companies has increased dramatically in recent decades as corporations seek to produce goods and services more efficiently, often replacing more expensive human employees in the process. These ranks of these companies are likely to increase as they disrupt more industries.
These companies vary dramatically in size, from startups to giant multinationals, and they often focus on different industries and functions. ABB Ltd. (ABB), for one, is the largest company in this group by market cap, but automation is just one of its businesses. By contrast, Cadence Design Systems Inc. (CDNS) is primarily a software company whose products and platforms provide robotics and automation solutions for a wide array of industries. Then there are niche players such as iRobot Corp. (IRBT) which is known for its robotic vacuum and mopping devices.
Robot and automation stocks, as represented by the ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF (ROBO), have outperformed the broader market. The ETF has provided investors with a total return of 30.4% compared to the Russell 1000 index, which posted a total return of 18.8% over the past 12 months
Here are the top 3 robotics stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum.
Best Value Robotics Stocks
These are the robotics stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.
|Best Value Robotics Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio|
|Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS)||47.14||3.5||7.6|
|Hollysys Automation Technologies Ltd. (HOLI)||11.17||.7||8.5|
|Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. (HLX)||2.38||.4||11.3|
- Brooks Automation Inc.: Brooks Automation provides automation solutions for multiple markets, including semiconductor capital equipment, and management and storage of life science biological samples.
- Hollysys Automation Technologies Ltd.: China-based HollySys Automation Technologies is a holding company that provides automation control system solutions. It focuses on industrial automation, rail transportation and mechanical and electrical solutions. On October 5, the company declared an annual cash dividend of $0.2 per ordinary share for fiscal year 2020, implying a 15% payout ratio. The dividend will be payable on or about November 20, 2020.
- Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc.: Helix Energy Solutions Group is an international offshore energy company. It focuses on subsea construction, and maintenance and salvage services to the offshore natural gas and oil industry. It's specialty services to the offshore industry focus on well intervention and robotics operations.
Fastest Growing Robotics Stocks
These are the robotics stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) earnings per share (EPS) growth for the most recent quarter. Rising earnings show that a company’s business is growing and is generating more money that it can reinvest or return to shareholders.
|Fastest Growing Robotics Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||EPS Growth (%)|
|iRobot Corp. (IRBT)||78.89||2.2||728.0|
|ABB Ltd. (ABB)||25.89||55.1||400.0|
|Nuance Communications (NUAN)||32.66||9.2||100.0|
- iRobot Corp.: iRobot develops and sells home cleaning products. The company recently announced the introduction of its latest line of robot vacuums. It includes the Roomba i3+ vacuum that has intelligent navigation, self-emptying capability, and an expanded range of cleaning features.
- ABB Ltd.: ABB is a holding company that engages in the development and provision of power and automation technologies. It operates through several segments focusing on areas such as electrification, industrial automation, robotics and discrete automation. On October 8, the company announced that the government of Singapore was deploying its high-precision ABB robots to improve the speed of COVID-19 testing. The system automates some manual steps and helps process close to 4,000 samples a day.
- Nuance Communications Inc.: Nuance Communications provides services based on conversational artificial intelligence (AI) through its segments, which are Healthcare, Enterprise, Automotive, and Speech Recognition Systems. Nuance is the main developer of Siri, the voice-activated search program used on Apple products, including the iPhone.
Robotics Stocks with the Most Momentum
These are the robotics stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.
|Robotics Stocks with the Most Momentum|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)|
|Nuance Communications Inc. (NUAN)||32.66||9.2||120.3|
|Cadence Design Systems (CDNS)||105.32||29.4||64.5|
|Schneider Electric SE. (SBGSY)||25.07||67.1||56.5|
|ROBO Global Robotics and Automation index ETF (ROBO)||NA||NA||30.4|
- Nuance Communications Inc.: See company description above.
- Cadence Design Systems Inc.: Cadence Design Systems makes software for designing and building integrated circuits and electronic devices. Its products include electronic design automation, software, emulation hardware, well as verification IP and design IP. On Oct. 8, the company announced that its Pegasus Verification System had achieved Design Rule Manual (DRM) certification for certain technologies. The company also said Pegasus has been validated to provide customers with a fast path to meet certain goals in areas including AI, automotive, processor, and data center.
- Schneider Electric SE.: Schneider Electric offers energy management and automation services, focusing on several areas including industrial automation.
YCharts. "Financial Data." Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.
Finance.yahoo.com, "Hollysys Automation Technologies Announce Annual Cash Dividend." Accessed Oct. 10, 2020.
iRobot, "iRobot Introduces the Roomba® i3+, Expanding Its Intelligent, Self-Emptying Product Lineup." Accessed Oct. 10, 2020.
ABB Ltd., "ABB robots accelerate COVID-19 testing in Singapore." Accessed Oct. 10, 2020.
Cadence Design Systems Inc., "Cadence Pegasus Verification System Certified for TSMC N16, N12 and N7 Process Technologies." Accessed Oct. 10, 2020.