iRobot: Diversification paying off

iRobot, a company that makes robots for military, industrial and home cleaning, is hitting its stride and diversifying its arsenal of products.

The company on Tuesday reported first quarter earnings of $7.5 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $106.3 million. Those results handily topped Wall Street estimates. Analysts had expected earnings of 23 cents a share on $104.7 million.

For the second quarter and 2011, iRobot's outlook was roughly in line with analyst projections. The company expects to report earnings of 90 cents a share to $1 a share on revenue of $450 million to $465 million.

Also see: Environmentally-friendly robots (photos)

That's not bad for a company best known for the Roomba.

Simply put, iRobot's products have real business uses.

  • In March, iRobot's Packbot and Warrior robots were deployed to inspect Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
  • The company won deal with the Navy for its PackBot robot valued at $230 million. The PackBot is used for bomb disposal and dangerous missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • iRobot launched prototypes of its FirstLook unmanned ground vehicle.

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