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iRobot Gets Taken Apart

iRobot (IRBT) was getting dismantled Sarah Connor-style after the smart-machine maker posted financial results that fell short of Wall Street's estimates Tuesday.

The company, whose behavior-based robots are designed to help people complete dull, dirty or dangerous tasks like cleaning floors and disarming explosives, said it had a profit of $15,000, or less than a penny a share, in the most recent fourth quarter. iRobot earned $408,000, or 1 cent a share, a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were looking for earnings of 4 cents in the latest quarter. Revenue rose 24% to $46.5 million, but missed the consensus estimate of $49.1 million.

Shares of iRobot were getting hammered after the close, falling $2.97, or 8.9%, to $30.25. The stock had risen 49 cents to $33.22 in regular trading.

The maker of such products as the Scooba Floor Washing Robot and the PackBot Tactical Mobile Robot used by the U.S. military said fiscal 2005 revenue climbed 49% to nearly $142 million. Earnings rose to $2.6 million and 11 cents a share from $200,000, or 1 cent a share, in fiscal 2004.

"iRobot generated significant year-over-year growth in 2005, as our products achieved substantial gains in military and consumer markets," the company said in a press release. "We are confident that iRobot's intelligent, practical and easy-to-use robot technology will enable us to expand our existing market leadership, as well as to target new markets such as law enforcement, homeland security, commercial cleaning and elder care."

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