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Insiders and Institutions Are Buying These Robot Stocks

Robotic hand placing metallic spheres on top of each other

AI is hot, and AI means robots, robotics, and automation, among other avenues of advancement. The takeaway from this article is that insiders are buying robot stocks, and there are two of particular interest. On the one hand, we have beaten up Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a maker of IoT-connected end-point devices and workflow automation tools, while the other is UiPath (NASDAQ: PATH). UiPatch makes digital robots featuring highly sophisticated AI software with machine learning capability. In both cases, we have solid companies on a trajectory to profit from the AI boom and the 4th industrial revolution. 

Zebra Technologies Headwinds Depress Shares 

Zebra Technologies' share price suffered when the pandemic bubble burst and remains under pressure today due to weak demand and supply chain issues that are slow to unwind. Despite this, the insiders got back into action in August and purchased shares of the stock. 

This is the first insider activity in two quarters and includes purchases by the executive chairman, a director, and the CEO. The purchases were conspicuously made within days of each other, all for the same amount and worth about $0.750 billion. This has total insider holdings up to 1%, which isn't much but compounded by institutional buying. 

Institutions are more bullish on Zebra and have been buying the stock for three consecutive quarters. They own about 85% of the stock, flattish compared to last year but rising in 2023. The institutional activity is consistent with a price bottom formed in 2023 that may produce another buying spike now that it has been breached. Nine analysts rate the stock at Hold and see it increasing by double digits, so the business has broad support. 

The next visible catalyst for Zebra Technologies is its earnings at the month's end. The guidance for the quarter was poor, and the analysts have been lowering their targets, so it may be an easy beat. Shares of the stock are oversold and appear overextended, so a relief rebound is expected even without a positive catalyst in the results. 

zbra stock chart

UiPath Is Growing and Outperforming 

UiPath insiders aren't buying, but it doesn't matter. The insiders own more than 30% of the company, primarily the CEO, and their sales are small and negligible. The takeaway from the data is that the company is tightly held, and sales, which are consistent with share-based compensation, are offset by institutional activity. The institutions have only bought this stock on balance each quarter since the IPO and are steadily growing their holdings. They own about 59% of the stock in early October and may continue to purchase due to strengthening results. 

UiPath's fiscal year highlights include double-digit growth, accelerating growth, outperformance relative to consensus estimates, and market-leading guidance. The guidance led the analysts to boost their price targets, and several new analysts initiated coverage. As it is, the analysts' sentiment is down to Hold from last year's Moderate Buy, but the price target is rising and offers about a 16% upside. Ark Invest, run by Cathie Wood, views UiPath as a viable alternative to NVIDIA as a long-term AI investment. 

Shares of the stock appear to be at the bottom and preparing for reversal. The market advanced above the 150-day EMA earlier this year and is now testing that level for support. Support may be confirmed soon; if not, the next catalyst is the Q3 results, due in early December. 

path stock chart

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