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Bull of the Day: iRobot (IRBT)

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iRobot Corporation (IRBT - Free Report) had record sales in 2018. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is expecting to see double digit sales growth again in 2019.

iRobot is a consumer robot company that builds popular home robots including the Roomba Robot Vacuum and the Braava family of mopping robots. Coming in 2019 will be the Terra, the autonomous lawn mower.

Another Beat in the Fourth Quarter

On Feb 6, iRobot reported its fourth quarter and full year results and beat the Zacks Consensus by 33 cents. Earnings were $0.84 versus the consensus of $0.51.

It hasn't missed since Zacks data began, which was in 2015. This was the 15th straight earnings beat in a row.

Revenue was a record, up 17.7% to $384.7 million from $326.9 million in the year ago period.

For the year, revenue topped a billion for the first time, at $1.092 billion up from $883.9 million in 2017.

Operating margin also came in at 10% even after absorbing the impacts of the tariffs in the fourth quarter.

Strong Revenue Growth to Continue in 2019

The company expects the good times to continue in 2019 as revenue is expected to jump another 17%-20% to a range of $1.28 to $1.31 billion.

It will be introducing a new category of robots this year called the iRobot Terra, which is its autonomous lawn mower.

And while it does manufacture products in China, in 2019 it will engage in a contract manufacturer outside of China to produce several Roomba robots.

And what about those tariffs?

"While we are navigating uncharted waters with the current tariff uncertainty, we expect our global business to deliver strong financial performance in 2019 that will in turn fund critical investments in future technologies and marketing, to further solidify our position as the unambiguous leader in robotic floor care," said Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot.  

Estimates Rise

In addition to the strong revenue guidance, the company also guided earnings to between $3.00 and $3.25 for 2019.

That was higher than the Zacks Consensus.

As a result, since the report, 3 estimates have been revised higher which has pushed the Zacks Consensus up to $3.03 from $2.93. That's still on the low end of the guidance range however.

Big Rebound in 2019

Like many stocks, iRobot shares have seen big gains in 2019. The strong earnings report only added to the rally which has pushed the shares up 37% year-to-date.



They aren't cheap, with a forward P/E of 38, but it's clearly a growth stock.

For investors looking for an in-home technology company outside of Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) or Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) which also has the growth story, iRobot should be one on your short list.

Will You Make a Fortune on the Shift to Electric Cars?

Here's another stock idea to consider. Much like petroleum 150 years ago, lithium power may soon shake the world, creating millionaires and reshaping geo-politics. Soon electric vehicles (EVs) may be cheaper than gas guzzlers. Some are already reaching 265 miles on a single charge.

With battery prices plummeting and charging stations set to multiply, one company stands out as the #1 stock to buy according to Zacks research.

It's not the one you think.

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