After release in February of positive revenue, Adept Technology (NASDAQ: ADEP) rose on higher than usual volume, up 5.33 percent, closing at $4.15 (52wk: 2.75 -4.70). And it needs the uptick, especially after seeing its share price deteriorate 55 percent from a high of $5.17 in 2011.
CFO Lisa Cummins is predicting a particularly heady share price of $12 by year?s end, which edges Adept slightly closer to its historical high of $16. While Adept Technology?s financials are trending towards continued growth as 2012 progresses, its portfolio of technology bears a trove of robotics patents and product solutions that could well make for a breakout year.
The Pleasanton, CA-based Adept, provider of intelligent robots and autonomous mobile products and services, has a number of strong cards to play for 2012: the fastest robots, for one; then the truly brainy concept of putting the intelligence ?inside? the robot, thereby reducing the footprint of the robot/manipulator/controller system; and now the announcement at MODEX 2012 in Atlanta about their new line of ?easily operated? robots. As Rush LaSelle, vice president and general manager of mobile robots, enthuses, ?This product solves an array of material handling challenges in a manner permitting deployment and operation by non-technical personnel.” That bit about ?non-technical? personnel is another brainy breakthrough, especially in the food industry or, for that matter, in any manufacturing environment where ?non-technical? employees do most everything else. It would undoubtedly be a big hit in China, where, coincidentally, Adept has just opened a new office, centrally-located in Shanghai within the Shanghai Hi-Tech Park.
“With its rising manufacturing costs driven by continuing urbanization, increasing labor costs, and labor shortages, China, says Hai Chang, managing director, Asia operations, and general manager, Adept China, “is the fastest growing country for the automation industry.” Experts predict that by 2014, China will become the largest consumer of industrial robots in the world.
Analyst Jennifer Holden (Seeking Alpha) adds that, ?The acquisition of InMoTx gave Adept the perfect complement to its existing packaging product line. The Adept Quattro s650HS is the only parallel robot which is USDA accepted for meat and poultry processing. The new innovative gripping technology is what vastly increases its value proposition.?
The numbers tend to reinforce Adept?s enthusiastic outlook. News from Adept’s February 1, 2012 Earnings Call revealed revenues for the quarter were $16.6 million, compared with $14.6 million for the same quarter a year ago. CEO John Dulchinos was pleased, citing confidence that business was increasing and European orders (now representing 43 percent of Adept’s business) would be expanding throughout 2012. And he was positively excited over Adept?s latest coup of a $1.4 million Asian order for its Python linear modules for high-throughput, high-precision material handling applications.