What happened

Shares of iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) rose as much as 16.4% early Thursday and settled to trade up 8.4% as of 2:30 p.m. EST after the home robotics specialist announced strong fourth-quarter 2018 results.

More specifically, iRobot's quarterly revenue climbed 17.7% year over year to $384.7 million, translating to net income of $25.2 million, or $0.88 per share. That brought iRobot's full-year 2018 revenue to $1.093 billion, with net income of $88 million, or $3.18 per share -- well above its guidance for earnings of $2.55 to $2.75 per share on revenue of $1.09 billion. 

Check out the latest iRobot earnings call transcript.

Hand with iRobot HOME app open and Roomba i7+ with cleaning base in the background.


So what

iRobot credited its performance to a combination of "substantial demand" for its new Roomba i7 and i7+ robotic vacuums in the U.S., as well as strong demand for its Braava floor-mopping robots internationally. The company also highlighted its recently unveiled Terra robotic lawn mower, which should help accelerate iRobot's efforts to diversify away from its core Roomba line when it launches in Germany (and as a beta program in the U.S.) later this year.

What's more, CEO Colin Angle indicated the company will engage a manufacturer outside of China to produce several Roomba robots and mute the impact of tariffs beginning in 2019. 

"We will do so while continuing our investment in innovation to extend our technology and product leadership, drive further adoption of both Roomba and Braava robots, and introduce several additional new products mid-year," Angle added.

Now what

For the full year of 2019, iRobot is targeting revenue of $1.28 billion to $1.31 billion, good for growth of 17% to 20% from 2018, which should translate to earnings per share of $3.00 to $3.25. While we don't lend much credence to Wall Street's demands, consensus estimates predicted 2019 earnings of $2.88 per share on revenue, near the low end of iRobot's outlook.

All told, this was a fantastic quarter that leaves iRobot investors rightly excited for what's to come, and iRobot stock is soaring as a result.