Are these the best robotics stocks and ETFs to watch?
The robotics industry has seen tremendous growth because of innovation in AI and machine learning. Explore the most popular robotics stocks and ETFs to watch in 2022.
Robotics stocks and ETFs: what you need to know
The applications of robotics span across various industries and sectors, offering solutions for continuous improvement. For decades, the world has been moving towards digital channels and solutions within organisations, and throughout life in general.
This technological revolution has had an impact on the automation of business operations of a growing number of robotics firms; introducing less human intervention and promoting efficiencies in product and service delivery. Machines, such as computers and autonomous vehicles, are just some of the inventions that have been developed over time.
The demand for fast, reliable and efficient technology is growing rapidly – and you can get exposure to the sector with us through a wide range of robotics stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs).
How to trade or invest in robotics shares and ETFs
Taking a position on robotics stocks and ETFs is different depending on whether you trade or invest. Compare below:
Trading robotics stocks and ETFs
- Speculate on the price of robotics stocks and ETFs rising or falling
- Leverage your exposure – you’ll only pay a 20%-25% deposit to get exposure to the full position size
- Leverage means both profit and loss will still be magnified to value of the full trade – so you could gain or lose money faster than you’d expect
- Trade tax-free with spread bets and offset losses with CFDs1
- Take shorter-term positions
- You can look to hedge your portfolio when trading
- Trade without owning the underlying asset
- No shareholder privileges
- Trade in both our spread betting account and CFD account
Investing in robotics stocks and ETFs
- Buy and sell underlying robotics stocks and ETFs
- Pay the full value of the shares or ETFs you buy upfront
- You may get back less than you put in because the value of shares and ETF can fall as well as rise
- Invest tax-free with a stocks and shares ISA2
- Focus on longer-term growth
- Build a diversified portfolio
- Take ownership of the underlying asset
- Gain voting rights and dividends (if paid)
- Invest in our share dealing account
With us, you can get exposure to robotics stocks and ETFs in these steps:
5 robotics shares to watch
Note that these stocks have not been chosen as the largest robotics stocks in the world alone, but rather based on various factors including market cap, future growth prospects, dividends and latest results. This list was last updated on 26 March 2022.
ABB is a tech company based in Switzerland that focuses on robotics, electrification, motion and process automation. The company’s income attributable to ABB indicated a 86% dip in quarter three (Q3) 2021, posting $653 million from last year’s $4.53 billion. Revenue was up by 7% to $7.03 billion from last year’s $6.58 billion due to high demand). There was a 29% increase in orders, with the customer activity increasing specifically in the Americas. There was a decline in Europe, while the demand in China remained stable.
ABB experienced supply chain constrains in Q3 2021 . The constraints were related to imbalances in the overall supply chain of semiconductors, leading to delays in customer deliveries.
Despite this, ABB improved both the underlying operational earnings and margin, delivered strong cash flows, and continued with important product launches.
ABB is making further strides to expand its portfolio of robotics production with a new Chinese facility expected to open in 2022. Realising that China is one of the largest robotics markets in the world, ABB estimates that robot sales will jump to $130 billion in 2025.1 As there’s generally a huge demand for robotics in China, this news should improve investors’ confidence in ABB.
UiPath creates automation software intended at providing virtual assistance to the human workforce. The software streamlines day-to-day office processes such as taking inventory, capturing data and processing invoices, in an effort reduce human error.
The company exceeded Wall Street estimates with a 50% revenue growth year on year (YoY) in Q3 2021, racking up $220.8 million. The performance growth was ‘driven by customers [sales] across verticals and geographies’, said chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Daniel Dines.
Despite the strong earnings, the share price has been falling over growing concerns that the company is recording losses that far outweigh these earnings.
Dines was optimistic about the company’s chances of attracting new customers in 2022. This is could be due to the UiPath 2021.10 release and the strong strategic partnerships it’s formed more recently.
Rockwell Automation is known for its foray in the industrial automation industry. It focuses on the intelligent devices, software and control applications, and lifestyle services.
The company showed a lot of growth in key areas of the business in Q4 2021, in comparison to the same period in 2020. Revenue in went up 15.1% YoY, reported at $1.8 million compared to $1.5 million in Q4 2020.
In lifecycle services, there was organic sales growth of 7% versus the previous year, while Intelligent devices organic sales increased 15% in the same period. Rockwell reported record quarterly orders to the value of $2.2 billion in Q4 2021, up over 40% YoY.
In light of the growth, the net income in Q4 2021 dropped from $262.7 million (2020) to $78.5 million. The drop was attributed to the fair-value adjustments identified in Q4 and the investment in the computer software company PTC.
Intuitive Surgical is one of the leaders in the healthcare automation service industry. It combines the precision of robot-assisted surgery to perform minimally invasive procedures.
Its da Vinci platforms grew in popularity worldwide, but the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the rollout of certain procedures. This platform enables robot-automated medical procedures, controlled by surgeons. With a surge of 20% in uptake compared to Q3 2020, the approach has been very popular – with 336 surgical systems shipped in Q3.
Its Q3 2021 performance was impressive overall. Revenue was reported at $1.4 billion, showing an impressive 30% increase compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
However, the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant in late-2020, Omicron, could lead to delays and disruptions in the supply chain.
Brooks Automation operates in two main segments – semiconductor solutions and life sciences.
The semiconductor business involves the manufacturing of vacuum robots and contamination control solutions. The life science segment focuses on genomic services such as drug development, advanced cell therapy and clinical research for global pharmaceutical, academic and healthcare organisations. Both segments performed strongly in Q3 2021, up 43% YoY in revenue.
Brooks Automation outperformed Q3 estimations in 2021. It posted revenues of $315.3 million, 43% more than the $220.3 million accumulated in Q3.
Each segment had a positive quarter, with life sciences posting $129 million in revenue and adding more than 300 new customers. The semiconductor business had a record quarter of $186 million, organic growth of 43% compared to Q3 2020.
ROBO-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF
The Robo-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF has over $1.9 billion assets under management distributed over 85 holdings in the artificial intelligence and robotics industry. The fund has exposure to a number of robotics firms that focus on semiconductors, AI, 3D printing, digital technology and software production.
Some of the holdings include iRhythm Technologies, Teradyne and Azenta. The ROBO-Stox Global Robotics & Automation Index ETF expense ratio is 0.95%.
iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF
The iShares Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Multisector ETF has over $443 million assets under management, with a focus on robotic technology and innovations in AI. The expense ratio of the ETF is 0.47%.
The holdings in the fund are spread out across developed and emerging markets. Most of the constituents are based in the US (56%), with robust representation in Japan, Hong Kong and China. The top holdings include Ambarella, HTC and Alchip Technologies.
ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF
The ARK Autonomous Technology & Robotics ETF has stocks strategically positioned around the world. There are over $2.1 billion assets under management in the fields of 3D printing, space exploration, automation, and autonomous vehicles.
The top holdings managed by the fund include Tesla, Trimble and Kratos Defense & Security. The expense ratio of the ETF is 0.75%.
Why do people trade and invest in robotics stocks and ETFs?
- Robotics is a remarkable growth industry as automation has become an integral part of day-to-day living
- Flexibility in gaining exposure to either a single company or a selection of companies via an ETF
- Wide range of opportunities as new, innovative products enter the marketplace
- Traders can take a position without owning the underlying asset
Trading (spread betting or CFD trading)
When you trade robotic stocks or ETFs, you’ll take a position on their price movements. You can go long if you think the price will rise, or short if you think it’ll fall.
If you’re trading robotics stocks or ETFs with us, you’ll use derivatives like spread bets and CFDs. You can open a position using leverage, whereby you put down a deposit (margin) and get exposure to the full value of the trade.
Trading on leverage requires you to take extra care to manage your risk because there’s potential of gaining or losing way more than the initial deposit paid to open the position.
Investing (share dealing)
If you want to invest, you’ll need to open a share dealing account. You’ll buy robotics company shares or ETFs outright and take ownership from zero commission.3 You have to pay the full value upfront, as leverage is not available on investments. However, your loss will be capped at this amount.
You’ll invest in shares or ETFs if you have a long-term outlook on their performance. If you sell the shares or ETF at a higher price than what you bought them for, you’ll make a profit. Further, you’ll earn dividends if the company grants them and you can get shareholder voting rights.
Robotics shares and ETFs summed up
- Robotic capabilities improve speed, efficiency and reliability, resulting in an increased demand for the latest and greatest technologies
- Robotics shares give you exposure to an individual company, while robotics ETFs give you broader exposure by tracking the prices of a collection of related stocks
- You can invest in robotic stocks with us if you want to own the shares outright, get possible dividends and have shareholder voting rights
- You can trade on robotic stocks and ETFs with us if you want to go long or short on their price
1 ABB, 2022
2 Best trading platform as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021 and Professional Trader Awards 2019. Best trading app as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021.
2 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.
3 Trade in your share dealing account three or more times in the previous month to qualify for our best commission rates. Please note published rates are valid up to £25,000 notional value. See our full list of share dealing charges and fees.
This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
Explore the markets with our free course
Learn how shares work – and discover the wide range of markets you can spread bet on – with IG Academy's free ’introducing the financial markets’ course.
Put learning into action
Try out what you’ve learned in this shares strategy article risk-free in your demo account.
Ready to trade shares?
Put the lessons in this article to use in a live account – upgrading is quick and easy.
- Trade on over 13,000+ popular global stocks
- Protect your capital with risk management tools
- React to breaking news with out-of-hours trading on 70 key US stocks
Inspired to trade?
Put your new knowledge into practice. Log in to your account now.