Not long ago, I read InvestorPlace contributor Thomas Niel’s list of seven growth stocks that Cathie Wood is bullish on now and noticed that automation software maker UiPath (NYSE:PATH) was on there. So I just had to find out what’s so appealing to Wood about PATH stock.
Now I understand that some folks might not care whether Wood invested in UiPath or not. Moreover, a number of people may have reservations about the “rise of the machines” and the trend toward automation in general.
Yet automation provides a potential opportunity that shouldn’t be dismissed. We can debate about whether it is an evolution, but it’s certainly a revolution, and you can either join it or get left behind.
A Closer Look at PATH Stock
Back in April, InvestorPlace contributor William White provided an excellent rundown on how PATH stock was introduced to the New York Stock Exchange.
UiPath had set a price range for its initial public offering (IPO) between $52 and $54. However, the company ended up listing its stock at $56.
When PATH stock debuted for public trading on April 21, it powered its way up to $69. After some wiggling and wobbling, the share price reached a peak of $90 on May 24.
Anybody who chased the stock near $90 soon learned a tough lesson, as it was all downhill for the shares from there.
By Sept. 24, PATH stock had fallen all the way down to the low $50s. Only time will tell whether the name turns out to be a winner or a dud.
Is UiPath a real stinker despite Wood’s endorsement? Let’s take a deep dive into it and see if it can mount a comeback.
When we think about robots and machines, we might imagine the evil androids from the Terminator movies.
Similarly, the word, “automation” has a sinister connotation. And I’ll admit that there are undoubtedly instances in which automation has caused human jobs to be lost.
Does that make UiPath, a developer of automation software, an evil entity? Not really.
As InvestorPlace’s White explained, UiPath’s software allows the company’s customers to increase their efficiency by automating repetitive tasks.
I suppose that some jobs might be displaced through this process, but others will be made easier to perform.
RPA software can perform a wide range of defined actions. Among its capabilities are understanding what’s on a screen, identifying and extracting data, implementing the right keystrokes, navigating systems, and so on.
Statistics on RPA
Does RPA software aid UiPath’s customers?
To help answer this question, UiPath offers up many stats:
- Among global executives, 63% say that RPA software is a major component of digital transformation.
- 57% affirm that RPA software reduces manual errors.
- 92% agree that the software has “met or exceeded expectations” for better compliance.
- 60% of executives agree that the software enables people to focus on more strategic work.
- 57% of executives say that RPA increases employees’ engagement.
- 68% of global workers believe that automation will make them more productive.
That last bullet point is notable, as it’s from the employees’ perspective, not that of executives.
Whether you happen to agree with automation’s usefulness or not, its positive impact on UiPath is irrefutable.
Impressively, the company reported a 60% year-over-year increase in its annual recurring revenue during the second quarter.
Furthermore, UiPath’s overall Q2 revenue surged 40% year-over-year to $195.5 million
The Bottom Line
With UiPath and RPA software, there’s no need to have nightmares about Terminator robots attacking you.
These are friendly machines -or more accurately, software programs that can accomplish certain tasks very efficiently.
And while Wood seems to like PATH stock, that doesn’t have to be your reason for owning it.
Instead, you can accumulate some shares and wait for a turnaround in the name as more businesses discover and leverage the benefits of RPA software.
On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.