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NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against iRobot Corporation (“iRobot” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: IRBT) and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, for the Southern District of New York, and indexed under 19-cv-10373, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities other than Defendants who purchased or otherwise acquired iRobot securities between November 21, 2016 and October 22, 2019, inclusive (the “Class Period”). The claims asserted herein are alleged against iRobot and certain of the Company’s current executives (collectively, “Defendants”), and arise under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.
If you are a shareholder who purchased iRobot within the class period, you have until December 23, 2019, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at email@example.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.
iRobot is a global consumer robot company based in Bedford, Massachusetts. Founded in 1990, iRobot designs and builds robots to assist with household tasks and has sold more than 25 million robots worldwide. iRobot’s most popular product line is its autonomous robotic vacuum cleaners, which the Company first introduced with the Roomba Vacuuming Robot in 2002. iRobot’s products, including the Roomba line, purport to feature proprietary technologies and advanced concepts in cleaning, mapping, and navigation.
In November 2016, iRobot announced the first of two upcoming acquisitions—the acquisition of the iRobot-related distribution business of Tokyo-based Sales on Demand Corporation (“SODC”). The Company said the acquisition would “better enable iRobot to maintain its leadership position and accelerate the growth of its business in Japan through direct control of pre- and post-sales market activities including sales, marketing, branding, channel relationships and customer service.”
Following this announcement and throughout the Class Period, iRobot reported explosive, double-digit revenue growth and reaffirmed its positive outlook, attributing its strong performance to growing demand for the Roomba line of products, expanded gross margin because of distributor acquisitions, greater brand awareness, and technological innovation. The truth behind the Company’s revenue numbers was that it was engaging in channel-stuffing—the deceptive practice of sending retailers and distributors in a company’s distribution channel more products than those retailers would ordinarily purchase from the company or be able to sell to the public during a given period, enabling the company to book those as sales in the current quarter or year. Here, iRobot was stuffing the channel through its control of the two distributors it had acquired to continue its deceptive scheme.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, iRobot reported explosive, double-digit revenue growth, which it attributed to increasing demand for its Roomba products, expanded gross margin because of distributor acquisitions, greater brand awareness, and technological innovation. However, in reality, iRobot was engaging in channel-stuffing in order to inflate its sales and revenues figures, and had acquired two of its largest distributors to facilitate and conceal this deceptive practice.
On April 23, 2019, after the close of trading, iRobot surprised the market by announcing quarterly revenues that were below analyst expectations and also revealed surging inventory levels. In response to this news, iRobot’s stock price fell from $130.57 per share on April 23, 2019, to $100.42 per share on April 24, 2019 on unusually high trading volume—a decline of over 23% in one trading day.
Then, on July 23, 2019, after the close of trading, iRobot cut its full-year earnings forecast. In response to this news, iRobot’s stock price fell from $89.63 per share on July 23, 2019, to $74.51 per share on July 24, 2019 on unusually high trading volume—a decline of nearly 17% in one trading day.
Finally, on October 22, 2019, after the close of trading, iRobot cut the high end of its revenue expectations for the year, from $1.25 billion to $1.21 billion, and said it rolled back price increases after a “suboptimal” customer response. The Company reported increased inventory levels once again, with third quarter 2019 ending inventory of $248 million or 149 days in inventory (“DII”) compared to the $161 million or 113 DII a year prior. In response to this news, iRobot’s stock price fell from $54.03 per share on October 22, 2019, to $49.06 per share on October 23, 2019 on unusually high trading volume—a decline of over 9% in one trading day.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com
Robert S. Willoughby