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iRobot reports Q4 net loss, cites supply chain struggles

The robotic vacuum maker managed to keep its revenues for the year within previous guidance, despite losing tens of millions due to supply constraints.
Written by Michael Gariffo, Staff Writer

iRobot posted revenues of $455.4 million for the fourth quarter of FY 2021, down from the previous fourth quarter's $544.8 million. This decline drove a net loss of $31.5 million, or $1.17 per share, compared to Q4 2020's fourth-quarter profit of $13.3 million, or $0.47 per share. 

The robot vacuum company placed the blame for its financial declines squarely on supply chain constraints. Colin Angle, chairman and chief executive officer of iRobot, said in a press release:

Despite ongoing semiconductor chip constraints and shipping delays that impacted our ability to fulfill approximately more than $35 million in orders, we reported fourth-quarter financial results within the parameters we outlined in late October... While multiple supply chain issues conspired to limit our 2021 financial performance, we made considerable and important strategic progress during the year.

During that year, iRobot took in total revenues of $1.01 billion, up sharply from the $760.2 million posted for 2020. This kept the company's FY 2022 in the black, but still only produced a modest net income of $30.4 million, or $1.08 per share, far short of the year-ago quarter's $147 million, or $147 million, or $5.14 per share. 

In the face of ongoing difficulties in acquiring the chips it needed to build its robotic vacuums, mops, and other models, iRobot turned to expanding its smart home capabilities and expanding its relationship with Amazon's Alex platform during 2021. It also taught its robots to avoid a very particular kind of mess.

Also: iRobot launches Roomba j7+, Genius 3.0 platform: It takes a lot of AI to avoid poop

Looking forward to 2022, Angle predicted continued supply chain difficulties in the first half, while professing more optimism for H2. 

We are excited about our 2022 innovation and go-to-market plans as well as our operational initiatives to expand our access to key semiconductor components over the coming quarters and diversify our manufacturing footprint. Our 2022 outlook is highlighted by our expectation for solid top-line growth and EPS expansion. We anticipate that supply chain challenges will dampen our performance in the first two quarters, followed by much stronger revenue growth, substantial improvement in profitability and accelerated EPS expansion in the second half of the year as component availability increases and certain cost headwinds ease."

iRobot ended the year with 14 million customers connected to its platform via its various devices. That represented an increase of 44% from the end of 2020, and a 12% gain for the final quarter alone. The company also noted that it sold its 40 millionth robot during the final quarter of 2021. 

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