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Robot maker iRobot raises 1st-quarter outlook

BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) -- IRobot Corp.'s shares soared in after-hours trading Monday after the robotic technology company issued a much-better-than expected forecast for its fiscal first quarter.

The company expects to earn 16 to 20 cents per share on revenue of $102 million to $104 million. It had previously forecast its net income to be flat to 7 cents per share for the quarter on revenue in the range of $98 million to $102 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet were anticipating earnings of 2 cents per share on revenue of $100.8 million.

IRobot said the increase is based on strong results in both its home robot and defense and security business units.

The company also said that it has appointed Alison Dean as executive vice president and chief financial officer. She will begin her new position effective April 5. Dean joined iRobot in 2005, prior to the company's public stock offering, and has held a variety of positions. She previously held the position of principal accounting officer and has been responsible for evaluating the company's investment decisions, including acquisition targets.

Dean succeeds John Leahy, who is stepping down after four years to join a late-stage private company.

IRobot, based in Bedford, Mass., builds robots used in consumer, defense and other settings.

Its shares jumped $2.09, about 9 percent, to $24.84 in after-hours trading on the news. Its stock fell 11 cents to close regular trading at $22.75.