Today is not Halloween, but if you're an iRobot
iRobot issued two press releases yesterday. One announced that CFO Geoffrey Clear has performed a vanishing act. The other revealed that iRobot wrote off sales to Linens 'n Things -- but these stories are not one and the same.
Bad news first
There's a lot not to like in iRobot's earnings news. Let's plow through the gloomy bits first, before I highlight for you a single fleeting ray of sunshine. First up, CFO Geoffrey has Clear-ed out his office to make way for one John Leahy, who will henceforth be responsible for reporting that iRobot:
- Lost $0.16 in Q1.
- Expects to lose even more in Q2, bringing total losses for H1 to perhaps $0.45 per share.
- Burned through $3.8 million in cash last quarter.
Much of the quarter's disappointment can be laid at the feet of "key customer" Linens 'n Things. Apparently, the retailer's financial straits are so dire that iRobot may never be paid for $1.8 million worth of robots shipped. That lopped a nickel off the quarter's earnings.
Leahy gets to be the courier of earnings warnings, too. iRobot now believes that full-year sales will come in light at about $300 million, and profits will miss the low end of past guidance, ranging from $0.12 to $0.17 per share.
And now the good
But abandon not all hope, ye who have entered into ownership of iRobot stock. While I expect the mainstream media to miss this fact, a bit of basic math tells me that things are not all bad at iRobot.
Remember how in my pre-earnings Foolish Forecast, I wrote that "the company's new line of Roombas and their relatives have been flying off the shelves at retail outlets such as Best Buy
iRobot grew its sales 45% in Q1 -- six points ahead of Wall Street estimates. And it did this despite writing off $1.8 million in sales to Linens 'n Things. So while CEO Colin Angle warns that the "overall retail environment has deteriorated," iRobot's sales numbers suggest that Roombas and Scoobas are still selling just fine.
It was a quarter of tricks, no doubt. But at least one treat, as well. Happy Halloween!
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