iRobot Is Cleaning Up on Pandemic-Driven Need for Clean

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Talk about cleaning up in the midst of a pandemic. 

Shares of iRobot  (IRBT) - Get Report zoomed higher on Monday after the company said “substantially” stronger-than-expected demand for its Roomba robot vacuums and Braava robot mops thanks to the coronavirus pandemic means second-quarter sales to remember. 

The Bedford, Mass.-based company said it expects second-quarter sales of between $260 million and $270 million versus prior expectations for second-quarter 2020 revenue to be down modestly from first-quarter 2020 revenue of $193 million.

The company anticipates that the “substantially higher-than-anticipated” second-quarter revenue, aided to a lesser extent by better-than-planned gross margin and diligent expense management, will result in a return to operating profitability for the quarter.

The reason: consumers not only staying at home much more than before and looking to get some robotic help on the chores, but a more fervent focus on keeping it clean amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our anticipated second-quarter 2020 financial performance will be substantially better than we originally expected," CEO Colin Angle said. "Maintaining a clean home has become a higher priority for many consumers as COVID-19 has forced people to spend more time in their homes.

“Our floor-cleaning robots have become true partners to millions of customers around the globe, enabling them to keep their homes tidy while freeing them to focus on other priorities, which may now include working from home, childcare and home schooling," he said.

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