Los Angeles Business Journal

Higher Costs Cause AeroVironment Loss

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AeroVironment Inc. late Tuesday said it moved from a profit to a loss in its fiscal fourth quarter as the maker of unmanned drone aircraft and electric-car charging stations recorded fewer sales but incurred higher research and development costs.

After the markets closed, the Monrovia company, which also has operations in Simi Valley, reported a net loss of $795,000 (-4 cents a share) for the period ended April 30, compared with net income of $17.8 million (80 cents) in the same period a year earlier. The Wall Street consensus was for loss of 10 cents a share.

Revenue fell 51 percent to $54.1 million, which the company largely attributed to fewer drone sales to the U.S. government, its primary customer for that product. Car-charging sales were off slightly.

Full-year net income dropped 66 percent to $10.4 million, with revenue down 26 percent to $240 million. For fiscal 2014, AeroVironment expects to generate revenue of $230 million to $250 million, with operational earnings of 35 to 50 cents a share.

The company in May laid off an unspecified number of employees, in an effort to bring operational costs better in line with anticipated revenue.

Shares earlier closed up 22 cents, or 1 percent, to $19.58 on the Nasdaq, then rose 5 percent in after-hours trading.