iRobot (IRBT 1.17%) is perhaps best known for the Roomba, a robotic vacuum that launched in 2002, though its portfolio also includes the Braava, a line of robotic mops. So far in 2021, this tech company has managed to post strong revenue growth despite headwinds created by the semiconductor shortage. Can that growth continue?
In this Backstage Pass video, which aired Sept. 29, 2021, Motley Fool contributor Brian Withers discusses what investors should watch when iRobot reports third-quarter earnings on Tuesday, Oct. 19.
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Brian Withers: Moving on to iRobot, ticker symbol IRBT. The stock has been on a [laughs] wild ride over the last 12 months. You see that spike in January, during the coronavirus in the last half of 2020, they saw a really big increase in demand. They explained that with people staying home, [laughs] I guess they realized they needed their floor clean because iRobot really has the primary sales that it has, its floor cleaning robots, which make up a significant portion of its revenue, both vacuum and mop scrubbing. You can buy a couple of them together and have them work together.
They saw a tremendous increase. Then I guess that demand tailed off and they saw some supply chain headwinds. The logistics of getting stuff from the Far East to the United States. Even in the last quarter, they talked about trouble with all of their supply chain issues, they had trouble meeting demand. They are looking at about an 11% full year. This is management expectations. They didn't provide specific guidance for the quarter, but they're expecting around $1.6 billion in revenue, which is 11% increase. [Motley Fool contributor] Demitri [Kalogeropoulos] mentioned costs for PepsiCo. Same thing for iRobot. They've had a tremendous amount of challenges this year dealing with supply shortages and spending extra money in the supply chain. The earnings per share, or the bottom line, is down considerably year over year. But for folks who have been watching iRobot for a long time and have been interested in iRobot moving beyond the device and getting to some subscription revenues.
They've talked about doubling down on a strategic shift to software and RaaS, robot as-a-service. The different programs where maybe you lease the robot or you pay a certain amount per month and you get filters, upgraded bags, things like that throughout your ownership time, as well as opportunity for software upgrades and then the new version after a couple of years. It'll be interesting more than anything on how the quarter went. I'm more interested in the strategic shift and management comments about how they're coming on that.