Why iRobot Corporation Was a Big Mover Last Week, and What to Expect in the Weeks Ahead

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis. 

The robotics industry is red-hot lately, in part, thanks to recent announcements from Google and Amazon . However, iRobot Corporation was another standout last week, after shares gained more than 19% on a mix of industry news and analyst upgrades. Let's take a closer look at why iRobot was a big mover last week, and what investors can expect from the stock.

Riding Google's coattails
iRobot got off to a fast start last Monday, following Google's acquisition of robotics company Boston Dynamics for an undisclosed amount. Similar to iRobot, Boston Dynamics makes robots that are used by the U.S. military. Perhaps, more importantly, Boston Dynamics is the eighth autonomous bot maker Google has purchased so far this year. This is important because it calls attention to the growing influence of robots for use by businesses, which is a positive trend for iRobot.

In fact, more businesses than ever are using robots today to help cut costs and improve manufacturing processes. Amazon, for example, paid $775 million last year to buy autonomous machines maker Kiva Systems. Today, Amazon's Kiva robots help the company save hundreds of millions of dollars by streamlining Amazon's order fulfillment system. Amazon is even testing drone automatons now that are capable of delivering packages weighing less than five pounds.

With more companies across various industries using robots, it might not be long before we see iRobot deploy automatons for manufacturing use. While iRobot is best known for its floor-cleaning bots like the Roomba, it's already made inroads into the health care space with its RP-VITA, or Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant. In fact, the FDA approved the RP-VITA earlier this year for use in hospitals throughout the country.

Movin' on up
An analyst upgrade from Raymond James was also behind iRobot's climb higher last week. In a note to investors, Raymond James analyst Brian Gesuale upgraded the stock to a strong buy, saying the company should see a significant sales boost from its new consumer bots including its Braava line of robotic mops.

Looking ahead, Gesuale says iRobot's new Braava devices along with expansion in China could boost sales by as much as $100 million over the next three years. The company has already sold more than 10 million home-cleaning robots worldwide -- making it the most popular domestic robot today. Moreover, iRobot's consumer bots could see even more growth in the weeks and quarters to come as the company gains wider distribution in overseas markets such as China.

Looking to the future
Shares of iRobot have gained more than 81% year to date, and currently trade around $35.26 apiece. For investors with a three- to five-year time horizon, the stock looks like a solid long-term-growth pick.

An even better stock play for those investors looking to profit in 2014...
To be sure, there's a huge difference between a good stock, and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

The article Why iRobot Corporation Was a Big Mover Last Week, and What to Expect in the Weeks Ahead originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Tamara Rutter owns shares of Amazon.com and iRobot. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Google, and iRobot. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

People are Reading