Shares of iRobot (IRBT) - Get iRobot Corporation Report fell sharply Wednesday after an industry analyst downgraded the Roomba maker, warning of "robot wars" amid increased competition in the market for self-propelled vacuum cleaners.
The stock price of iRobot declined 4.19% to $55.02 after Raymond James cut its rating on the Bedford, Mass.-based maker of Roomba line of robotic vacuums to underperform.
Raymond James analyst Brian Gesuale argued iRobot is facing strong competition and finely calibrated pricing pressure from Shark's competing models, which are "peeling back prices at the high end" even as it "makes the mid-market vanish."
The "robot wars" between competing android vacuum cleaners, in turn, will "continue to entice consumers towards substitute offerings," the Raymond James analyst wrote.
The pricing competition should take a toll on iRobot's earnings and revenue, Raymond James contends, forecasting 2020 earnings per share of $2.40 and revenue of $1.27 billion, well below the estimates of analysts tracked by Bloomberg.