iRobot B*tchslaps Earnings & Soars

iRobot headquarters in Bedford, Connecticut

Shares of iRobot [$IRBT] elevated 14% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the robot maker posted fiscal Q4 results. iRobot reported net income of $13.3 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with net income of $20 million, or 70 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue surged 28% to $544.8 million from $426.8 million a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected net income of 31 cents a share on revenue of $492 million. iRobot shares have skyrocketed 140% over the last year. The broader S&P 500 has improved 16% in the last year.

iRobot was pioneered back in 1990 by Rodney Brooks, Colin Angle, and Helen Greiner after working in MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Then, in 1998, the company received a DARPA research contract which led to the development of the PackBot. Shortly after that in September 2002, iRobot unveiled its home robots flagship, the Roomba, which sold a million units by 2004 and  the company began being traded on the NASDAQ in November 2005. Later on in 2012, iRobot announced that it had acquired Evolution Robotics, manufacturer of automated floor mopper Mint.

iRobot has sold more than 8 million home robots, and has deployed more than 5,000 defense & security robots, as of 2012. In addition to deployment as bomb-disposal units with the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan, PackBots have been used to gather data in dangerous conditions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site, and an iRobot Seaglider detected underwater pools of oil after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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