iRobot warns of disappointing quarter

Lawsuit against former employee and the delayed production of new vacuums are blamed for anticipated third-quarter loss.

iRobot will miss its third-quarter earnings goal, but overall 2007 financial expectations remain on track, the company said Wednesday.

The company expects to announce revenue of between $63 million and $64 million, resulting in a pretax loss of $1 million to $1.5 million in the third quarter, CEO Colin Angle said in a statement.

Part of the blame for the disappointing quarter was placed on delayed production of iRobot's new Roomba 500 vacuum series.

"... the production ramp up by our new contract manufacturer was slower than our initial targeted projections and consequently, revenue from delayed shipments will be recognized in the fourth quarter," he said.

Angle also attributed the loss to unanticipated legal expenses related to iRobot's lawsuits against former employee Jameel Ahed and his company Robotic FX. iRobot is suing Robotic FX and Ahed, individually, for alleged patent infringement and misappropriation of privileged information regarding iRobot's PackBot military robot .

iRobot plans to officially announce its third-quarter results on October 24.

Tech Culture
About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet,, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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