Los Angeles Business Journal

Revenue Delay Hurts AeroVironment’s Quarter

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, March 7, 2012

AeroVironment Inc. shares edged down Wednesday morning after the company reported fiscal third-quarter results that missed Wall Street’s expectations. A delay in having an order of its drones accepted by a key customer pushed anticipated revenue into the current quarter.

The Monrovia maker of drone aircraft, mostly for military use, late Tuesday reported net income of $5.7 million (26 cents a share), compared with $11.5 million (52 cents) a year earlier.

Revenue fell 15 percent to $72 million. Lower total sales in the company’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems unit of $14.5 million was partially offset by increased sales of $2 million from its Efficient Energy Systems unit, which makes charging stations for electric vehicles. The company did not identify the customer in the delayed drone order.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company to earn 41 cents a share on revenue of $87.5 million.

"Performance would have been much higher but an administrative delay in customer acceptance pushed the delivery of about $20 million in Raven and Puma systems completed in (the third quarter) into the first week of the fourth quarter," said Chief Executive Tim Conver in a statement.

AeroVironment is maintaining full-year guidance of net income of $1.28 to $1.35 a share, on revenue of $321 million to $336 million. As of Jan. 28, the company’s funded backlog of orders was $85.5 million, compared with $82.9 million as of April 30 last year.

Shares were down 84 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.26 in Wednesday midday trading on the Nasdaq after earlier falling as low as $25.40.