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iRobot shares surge on strong sales of Roomba vacuum cleaners

SAN FRANCISCO, July 26 (Reuters) - Shares in iRobot Corp jumped 23 percent to a record high on Wednesday after the Roomba robotic vacuum maker posted better-than-expected quarterly results and said it was buying its largest European distributor. The stock surged by $21.27 to $109.03 and was on track for its biggest one-day percentage gain since 2010.

The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company's revenue rose to $183.1 million in the second quarter from $148.7 million the same quarter last year, beating average analyst expectations of $174.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Fueled by strong growth in the United States and Europe, iRobot also raised its full-year revenue and earnings projections.

Sales volumes of its vacuum cleaners during Amazon.com Inc's Amazon Prime Day on July 11 more than doubled from the same promotion last year, the company said in a statement.

iRobot announced late on Tuesday the $141 million acquisition of privately held Robopolis SAS, its main distributor in Europe and the Middle East.

"We believe iRobot remains a clear market leader in the high-end category," Loup Ventures analyst Andrew Murphy wrote in a research note on Wednesday.

Other robot makers with an advantage over legacy vacuum cleaner companies include Neato Robotics, Ecovacs Robotics and Samsung Electronics, Murphy said. The market for smart home devices was worth $9.8 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow 60 percent this year, according to market research firm IHS Markit.

In addition to sweeping up dirt, Roomba vacuums collect spatial data on households that could prove valuable to companies developing so-called smart home technology.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that iRobot could reach a deal to sell its maps in the next couple of years, which would provide the company a fresh revenue stream.

Also on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that SoftBank Group Corp had taken a stake of less than 5 percent in the company. An iRobot spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday, and a spokesperson from SoftBank could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Melissa Wen; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)