Business is Business – iRobot Gets Hammered

As cool as we all happen to think robots are, we have to keep in mind that in the business world it's financial performance that counts - nothing more, nothing less. It looks like iRobot, a household name due to the popularity of the Scooba, learned that lesson the hard way after the stock market closed on Valentine's Day.



According to a report on TheStreet.com, iRobot "was getting dismantled Sarah Connor-style" when they reported their financial performance on Tuesday.


Apparently Wall Street analysts, who never like to be proven wrong, were expecting the company to report earnings of around 4 cents/share for the holiday/Christmas quarter. Unfortunately for iRobot, and more unfortunately for their shareholders, the company only managed to scrape up a profit of $15,000 for the period - much less than a penny a share.


Of course the good news is that they were profitable, if only just by a hair. Most technology based companies with fairly short histories show losses for years on end. Still, based on last year's earnings of $408,000 for the same quarter, the market was extremely disappointed and clearly demonstrated it.


In after hours trading iRobot shares plummeted by almost 9%. It will be interesting to see how the stock fairs when trading resumes on Wednesday morning. For the long term, we are personally very positive about the companies prospects (just our personal opinion - no stock trading information or advice here), though we do believe that at some point in the future they will have to split the company into separate entities since the market for domestic housekeeping robots, like Scooba, has completely different dynamics and expectations than the market for their military robots used for disarming explosives and other hazardous duty.


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iRobot Gets Taken Apart - via TheStreet.com

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2 comments

  1. That’s kind of depressing (not that I own any stock). I wonder why there is such a difference in earnings from last year?

  2. Hi Human,

    It seems that most new technology waves follow the same pattern. There are lots of studies showing the same thing happening with the introduction of railroads, cars, consumer electronics, and even bicycles.

    iRobot stock dropped by 21% when it started trading the following day – but a lot of the people dumping may have just been speculators rather than investors with a long term view of the technology.

    As far as the difference in earnings – could be a lot of factors. They’ll publish a 10Q financial statment in a few weeks, and a lot of companies make their 10Q available online in their ‘investor relations’ section.

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