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. More recently, the urgency to automate in order to cut labor costs has accelerated due to a currently tight labor market that is giving workers the upper hand in demanding higher wages. Examples of companies that offer robotics solutions and products include Cognex Corp. (CGNX), Cadence Design Systems Inc. (CDNS), and U.K.-based Blue Prism Group PLC (PRSM).
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 44.0% over the past 12 months, above the 34.3% total return of the iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB). These market performance numbers and the statistics in the tables below are as of Sept. 14, 2021.
Here are the top 3 robotics stocks with the best value, the fastest growth, and the most momentum.
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|
|ABB Ltd. (ABB)||36.74||73.7||13.5|
|Hollysys Automation Technologies Ltd. (HOLI)||20.70||1.3||18.0|
|iRobot Corp. (IRBT)||83.14||2.3||21.4|
- ABB Ltd.: ABB is a Switzerland-based global technology company that offers technological solutions across four key areas: electrification, process automation, motion, and robotics & discrete automation. Its products include breakers, switches, motors, generators, software, and more. ABB announced in July financial results for Q2 of its 2021 fiscal year (FY) ended June 30, 2021. Net income rose 135.7% on revenue growth of 21.0% compared to the year-ago quarter. The company said that orders and revenue increased significantly from low levels reached last year amid the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Hollysys Automation Technologies Ltd.: Hollysys Automation Technologies is a China-based automation and IT solutions provider. The company specializes in industrial automation, railway transport automation, and mechanical and electrical solutions.
- iRobot Corp.: iRobot is a global consumer robot company. It designs and builds robots for use inside and outside the home. One of its main products is the Roomba, a robot designed to automatically vacuum floors.
These are the top robotics stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and their most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.
|Fastest Growing Robotics Stocks|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||EPS Growth (%)||Revenue Growth (%)|
|Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG)||1027.82||122.3||645.6||71.8|
|Fanuc Corp. (FANUY)||24.14||46.3||335.8||66.7|
|Aptiv PLC (APTV)||148.25||40.1||N/A (see company description)||94.2|
- Intuitive Surgical Inc.: Intuitive Surgical is a global technology company that offers robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery equipment and solutions. Its da Vinci surgical system allows surgeons to view a 3D, high-definition (HD) image of the surgical field through an ergonomic console. The company also offers a range of surgical tools, such as endoscopes, scalpels, forceps, and more. Intuitive Surgical announced in July financial results for Q2 FY 2021 ended June 30, 2021. Net income attributable to the company's shareholders rose 660.6% as revenue expanded 71.8% compared to the year-ago quarter. Total cost of revenue and total operating expenses rose at a much slower pace than revenue, helping to boost net income. The company said that the quarter reflected an ongoing recovery from the year-ago quarter, which was hurt by the pandemic.
- Fanuc Corp.: Fanuc is a Japan-based manufacturing company that makes factory automation machinery. It offers computer numeric control systems, laser products, and robotic systems and products.
- Aptiv PLC.: Aptiv is a global technology company focused on the automotive sector. It designs and manufactures vehicle components, and is a provider of electrical and electronic active safety technology solutions. Its products include connector wires, safety restraint systems, pin headers, and more. The company announced in early August financial results for Q2 FY 2021 ended June 30, 2021. Aptiv posted net income attributable to its ordinary shareholders of $147 million, a significant turnaround from the net loss of $369 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenue expanded 94.2% YOY. Because the company's EPS went from negative in the year-ago quarter to positive in the most recent quarter, an EPS growth rate could not be calculated for the above table.
These are the robotics stocks that had the highest total return over the last 12 months.
|Robotics Stocks with the Most Momentum|
|Price ($)||Market Cap ($B)||12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)|
|Ambarella Inc. (AMBA)||147.65||5.4||193.1|
|Omnicell Inc. (OMCL)||158.50||6.9||120.6|
|Brooks Automation Inc. (BRKS)||92.30||6.9||116.9|
|iShares Russell 1000 ETF (IWB)||N/A||N/A||34.3|
|ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ROBO)||N/A||N/A||44.0|
- Ambarella Inc.: Ambarella develops and manufactures HD video compression and image processing semiconductors. Its products are used in a range of human and computer vision applications, such as video security, autonomous driving, driver/cabin monitoring, and other robotic applications.
- Omnicell Inc.: Omnicell is a provider of medication management solutions and adherence tools for health systems and pharmacies. It offers medication and supply dispensing systems, pharmacy inventory management systems and related software, medication blister cards, and more. The company recently announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of FDS Amplicare for $177 million. The acquisition adds a suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) financial management, analytics, and population health solutions to Omnicell's EnlivenHealth division.
- Brooks Automation Inc.: Brooks Automation is a global provider of automation products and solutions for various applications in the semiconductor manufacturing industry and life sciences industry.
The Wall Street Journal. "Tight Labor Market Returns the Upper Hand to American Workers." Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.
YCharts. "Financial Data." Accessed Sept. 14, 2021.
ABB Ltd. "ABB Q2 2021 Press Release," Pages 1 & 2. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.
Intuitive Surgical Inc. "Intuitive Announces Second Quarter Earnings." Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.
Aptiv PLC. "Aptiv Reports Second Quarter 2021 Financial Results." Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.
Omnicell Inc. "Omnicell Completes Acquisition of FDS Amplicare." Accessed Sept. 15, 2021.