What happened

Consumer robotics specialist iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) shed 13% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, at a time when the broader market rose by over 2%.

The decline added to steep losses since the stock touched $100 in early September, but iRobot is still a big winner over the past five- and 10-year periods.

IRBT Chart

IRBT data by YCharts.

So what

The October drop came after the company posted solid third-quarter operating results. Revenue jumped 26% and profitability improved to 50% of sales from 48% a year ago as the company shipped 29% more of its robotic vacuum cleaners. iRobot executives also raised their full-year outlook on both the top and bottom lines.

Now what

However, investors are growing concerned that the good times can't last much longer, given that iRobot is facing sharper challenges by rivals seeking a piece of its attractive market. Competition should, the theory goes, chip away at the company's dominant 64% market share over time.

A man reclines on a sofa while a robotic vacuum cleans the floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

iRobot is doing what it can to prevent that from happening by introducing innovations that push the industry further. Yet even if the company loses ground to rivals, it could still see solid growth in the years ahead as the robotic-vacuum niche expands from its current share of just 10% of the high-end vacuum market.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends iRobot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.