Shares of iRobot Corp. jumped Tuesday after a Raymond James analyst raised his investment rating on the stock, saying that the company's new robotic floor cleaners will boost sales. THE SPARK: Analyst Brian Gesuale upgraded iRobot's rating to a "Strong Buy" from "Market Perform" and gave it a price target of $39 . THE BACKGROUND: Besides its robotic vacuum cleaners and mops, iRobot also makes robots used by the military. The company is headquartered in Bedford, Mass. ANALYSIS: Gesuale said the new Roomba 800, a robotic vacuum cleaner, may increase sales. Wider distribution of the Braava, a robotic mop, could also help, he said in a note to clients. Gesuale estimates that the Braava and continued expansion into China could add $100 million of sales over the next three years. A representative from iRobot did not immediately respond to a request for comment. SHARE ACTION: Up $5.49 , or 17.5 percent, to $36.79 in afternoon trading. Its shares have nearly doubled from a year ago.
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