We are long-term investors here at MyWallSt and recommend companies that we believe will have consistent growth for years to come. Updates are an opportunity for us to reaffirm our stance on a company while keeping you up to date on its developments. By renewing our comments with the latest information, we ensure that investors have confidence in our selections, regardless of their start date.
The pandemic has made many of us spend an inordinate amount of time at home, forced to find new hobbies or ways to liven up our living space. However, even in the depths of lockdown boredom, the universal hatred of vacuuming remains strong. The solution: a quiet, autonomous vacuum robot that wanders your home to the bemusement of your cat.
If you can picture this product in your head, you're probably only thinking about one name: Roomba. Roomba was launched by iRobot in 2002 and has since gone through several redesigns and updates which have only made it better. And while consumers were initially hesitant to open their homes to an idea seemingly ripped straight from the plot of a futuristic 80s movie, sales have consistently grown and Roomba now dominates 52% of the robotic vacuum cleaner market, even in the face of growing competition.
This first-mover advantage has granted iRobot and its Roomba a distinctive edge, providing brand recognition and a wealth of R&D experience but the company is not done building its moat. In the coming years, software enhancements and the inclusion of artificial intelligence will significantly improve stickiness (i.e. how often a customer returns to a product or brand). AI will allow each robot to continuously build its understanding of a space and cleaning needs, meaning they will grow more efficient and effective. This will encourage customers to come back to the brand when it's time to upgrade or buy a mopping counterpart (the Braava).
iRobot also has a stellar leadership team that includes its founder and CEO Colin Angle who has masterfully led the brand through 2020. Despite tariffs between the United States and China, the center of iRobot's manufacturing, the company secured an exception helping to preserve its bottom line. However, Angle has spoken about his belief that this good fortune won't last forever and the company has fast-tracked plans to move its facilities out of China. Throughout the pandemic, the brand practiced prudent cost management and was able to increase revenue by an estimated 12% over the course of the year. This was further bolstered by improvements to direct-to-consumer channels, which saw sales increase by 155% in a single quarter.
With the robotic vacuum market expected to grow by roughly 600% in the next 6 years and iRobot easily leading the pack, the stock should see consistent gains. The brand has certainly demonstrated its ability to thrive even during an economic downturn and definitely has more room to grow.
In light of the company's recent performance, we have updated our comments on iRobot, to view them click on the stock symbol below.