Shares of iRobot (IRBT -0.52%) declined 12% in April, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, after the home robotics leader announced mixed first-quarter 2019 results relative to Wall Street's expectations.
After drifting higher for the first few weeks of last month, iRobot shares plunged 23% on April 24 alone after the company confirmed its quarterly revenue had climbed 9.5% year over year, to $237.7 million, translating to earnings of $22.5 million, or $0.78 per share. Analysts, on average, were modeling earnings of only $0.59 per share on higher revenue of $251.4 million.
Even so, during the subsequent conference call, management insisted that its first-quarter revenue was in line with the company's internal expectations. Chairman and CEO Colin Angle added sell-through was "good, setting us up for the higher year-over-year Q2 2019 revenue growth rate we discussed last quarter."
iRobot also highlighted better-than-expected demand for its premium i7 and i7+ Roomba models even after increasing prices to help offset the impact of tariffs on products imported from China. To that end, Angle also noted that iRobot is continuing to work on expanding its manufacturing and supply chain outside of China to provide a more permanent resolution to the tariff problem.
In yet another indication the company is exactly where it wants to be, iRobot reaffirmed both its 2019 outlook for revenue of $1.29 billion to $1.31 billion, up 17% to 20% from 2018, and its guidance for operating income ranging from $108 million to $118 million.
To be fair, iRobot's ability to live up to that guidance assumes three planned new product launches later this year go off without a hitch, one of which we already know will involve the limited launch of iRobot's new Terra robotic lawn mower.
Alas, our skeptical market likely won't bid up iRobot shares again until the company shows more tangible progress toward either meeting or beating its full-year guidance. If that happens, I think last month's drop could be short-lived.