I was told once that anything with 10 in the headline will sell like gangbusters. Here are ten reasons to buy iRobot at today's price.
1. It seems to be a cyclical stock that moves between around $12 on the low end (lower than that in abnormal 2009) and $18 - $18.50 or so on the high end. I've watched this pattern happen a number of times.
2. The Obama administration is likely to move increasingly to robots to enhance our ability to deal with what is called asymmetrical warfare.
"Robert Gates, Obama’s secretary of defence, announced in April 2009 that the government was cutting spending on “Cold War thinking”—areas of conventional warfare where the United States has a clear advantage—and would instead concentrate on new realities, like fighting the sort of urban-based counter-insurgents found in Iraq. “[Obama’s] trying to take resources from areas where we have clear dominance—we control the skies and the seas—and move them to where we’re challenged, which is irregular warfare and asymmetrical attack,” Dyer says. “Robots are an important part of being able to meet that irregular warfare challenge."
(sfw, I promise)
3.We have a culture that increasingly needs consumer robots. Think about all the older people this could help.
So you can 'virtually visit' with Grandma, or your little Chow puppy, when you're miles away (say, travelling, or at work).
4. iRobot has partnered with John Deere (DE) on this unmanned ground vehicle called the R-Gator. It's like a remote control golf cart that does tons of other stuff!
One study expects this market, the military ground robot industry, to be a $9.7B market in 2016.
5. An iRobot was recently featured on Fox's 24. I'm not sure but I think Keifer Sutherland is on the board of directors or something. No I'm being told that is not true.
6. The company just turned 20 years old, which is neither here nor there, but they have been innovating, designing, and refining that long. It's not some fly-by-night robotics firm.
7. Johnny 5. Short Circuit, Ally Sheedy, who did not like that movie? Right, no one. Point made.
8. The market cap is only $376M which to me doesn't seem to fairly value the intellectual property, patents, manufacturing processes that they have developed. It's true that they don't make a ton of money, but we're buying on the idea of their future earnings.
9. iRobot is in the 'non-lethal' side of the military robot business. Or at least that's their main focus. These are not robots that kill people, they're robots that save people's lives doing reconnaissance, ordinance disposa, hazmat detection etc. (More on the PackBot here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PackBot )
10. We are a lazy culture! No one wants to vacuum or scrub floors or clean their pool... so as the technology becomes affordable and mainstream, more and more we will be buying robots to do these things. iRobot already has brand awareness and a reputation for quality in the consumer robot segment. That brand will be increasingly valuable as we move into the future.