iRobot: Perfect Recipe for a Short Squeeze

  • April 22, 2009

iRobot (IRBT), the company that makes those lovable and sometimes efficient Roomba and Scooba line of robotic vacuum cleaners, reported results that are most likely going to clean out short sellers tomorrow. The company reported results that were 10 cents better than analyst estimates, an increase in gross margins and revenue that only declined 0.9% to $56.9 million in this tough environment.

Sales were buoyed by international Roomba sales, which were up an astounding 69% when compared to the first quarter of 2008. Government and industrial product revenue dropped year-over-year but was offset by home product revenue and government contract revenue. The company posted an adjusted EBITA loss of $0.3 million and operating cash flow of $14.3 million.

The company ended the quarter with $54.74 million in cash (an almost $14 million increase in cash quarter-over-quarter) and no debt. This represents nearly $2.20/share in cash. The stock closed the regular trading session at $8.02 and shot up more than 12% after hours to $9.

Given the low daily volume (average daily volume for the last 10 days was 68,937.5) and a short ratio of 23.81 (2.31 million shares were short as of March 31,2009), the stock appears to be ripe for a short squeeze tomorrow and could be an interesting as a short-term trade. Even without a short squeeze, given that management has reaffirmed its full year 2009 guidance of $290 to $310 million in revenue (flat to slightly lower than 2008) and earnings of break even to 4 cents (break even in 2008), the stock is worthy of consideration for a long position.