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Zebra (ZBRA) Buys antuit.ai, Enhances Retail Software Portfolio

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Zebra Technologies Corporation (ZBRA - Free Report) yesterday announced that it has closed the acquisition of antuit.ai. The buyout, which was announced in August 2021, was funded through cash.

Zebra’s shares declined 0.4% yesterday to eventually close the trading session at $504.41.

Headquartered in Dallas, TX, antuit.ai belongs to a consortium managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The company offers artificial intelligence (AI)-driven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions for retail and consumer packaged goods industries. Its solutions facilitate consumer product companies in executing various business processes like demand forecasting, optimizing inventory allocation, and order delivery procedures as well as formulating prices and promotion.

Inside the Headlines

Zebra’s acquisition of antuit.ai will complement its Enterprise Asset Intelligence offerings that empower users with operational visibility and provide important business, market, and customer insights. The addition of antuit.ai’s proficiency in the demand forecasting space will enable Zebra to combine it with its SaaS portfolio to provide advanced analytics, AI, and automation solutions for its customers. This will facilitate them in effective planning and executing business process with better insights into the supply chain, thus enhancing their margins and profitability.

With the acquisition, Zebra will enhance the planning and demand forecasting module for its retail software portfolio that includes Workforce Connect and SmartCount solutions. The company expects this buyout, together with the launch of its fixed industrial scanning and machine vision portfolio, to strengthen its position in the consumer products industries.

Other Notable Buyouts

In August 2021, Zebra completed the Fetch Robotics, Inc. buyout for $290 million, which is likely to boost its position as a provider of comprehensive line of advanced robotics solutions. Also, in May 2021, it acquired Adaptive Vision, which has been enhancing its offerings in fixed industrial scanning and machine vision markets.

In September 2020, Zebra acquired Reflexis Systems, Inc, which has been complementing its software offerings across retail and other key markets. In second-quarter 2021, acquisitions had a contribution of 1.6% to the company’s net sales.

Zacks Rank, Price Performance and Estimate Revisions

Zebra, with approximately $27 billion market capitalization, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company stands to benefit from the solid demand environment for its products and solutions, acquired assets, strong cash flows, and organic growth investments in the quarters ahead. However, escalating costs and expenses along with supply chain challenges pose major concerns for the company.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

Year to date, the company’s share price has increased 31.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 32.3%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings has been stable at $17.43 for 2021 in the past 60 days. The consensus estimate for 2022 earnings is pegged at $18.10, down 1% over the same time frame.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the Zacks Industrial Products sector are Alcoa Corporation (AA - Free Report) , Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (SWK - Free Report) , Standex International Corporation (SXI - Free Report) . While Alcoa currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Stanley Black and Standex carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alcoa pulled off an earnings surprise of 42.70%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Stanley Black pulled off an earnings surprise of 11.87%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Standex pulled off an earnings surprise of 10.52%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.