Chris Lau
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Chris Lau in Value Stocks,

Avoid iRobot

iRobot (IRBT) has stiff competition ahead. Dyson, after 18 years and $56 million in R&D spend, released a 360 eye robot vacuum. The model competes directly against iRobot’s $999 Roomba 980.

Dyson's technology implementation in the Dyson’s 360 Eye robot vacuum is impressive. The vacuum is more functional, has strong suction, applies the cyclone technology, has a vision system powered by a robotic eye for navigating, and is smaller than that of iRobot’s Roomba.

iRobot offers none of this technology.

The 30 percent premium on the Dysan unit may slow the competitive pressure iRobot faces, but at a 10.2x EV/EBITDA and 25.4x Price/EPS, iRobot’s stock is expensive. Value investors should demand more for a company whose revenue growth is 12.3 percent. Net profit margin (6.9%) is light. This means significant risks ahead for iRobot shareholders.

iRobot’s stock may trade at a premium on speculation Google would buy it. Since Google is actively looking for a buyer for its robotics unit, chances are low the search engine giant has any interest in iRobot.