Shares of iRobot, the maker of the Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaners, were the victim of a shark attack on Wednesday.
The Bedford, Mass., company saw its shares sink 15.7 percent after a short seller, citing increased competition from a rival whose lower-priced product just hit store shelves, reiterated its short position.
Spruce Point Capital Management said the Shark Ion Robot, with a starting price of $349, would steal away market share from iRobot, whose Roomba vacuums start at $375.
“We think this is the beginning of the end of the end of [iRobot],” Ben Axler, chief investment officer of Spruce Point, told The Post. “They continue to be under a lot of pressure.”
The Shark Ion Robot, from SharkNinja, went on sale on Monday.
“Shark’s entry into the market is earlier than we expected and gives the company enough time to compete for shelf space for the critical Q4 holiday season,” Spruce Point said in its report.
The report sent iRobot’s shares sliding to $85.08. Even after the tumble, iRobot’s shares are up 46 percent this year.
To be sure, iRobot’s first half profits soared 64 percent on a 26 percent rise in revenue. The company said the increased competition would be a good thing.
“We welcome good competition as it will help to expand the overall market,” iRobot said in a statement Wednesday.