Hurt by delays in orders for its military drone aircraft, AeroVironment Inc. reported lower-than-expected net income for the fiscal third quarter and provided a more cautious full-year outlook.
After Tuesday’s market close the Monrovia company reported net income of $6.5 million (30 cents per share) for the quarter ended Jan. 30, compared with $4.5 million, (21 cents) a year earlier.
Revenue rose 17 percent to $60.9 million, with sales at its flagship unmanned aircraft systems segment up 27 percent.
Even so, analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected the company, which is the U.S. military’s top supplier of small unmanned aerial crafts, to earn 32 cents a share on revenue of $73 million.
The company said that late signing of the 2010 U.S. defense budget and related delays in government order processing time mean orders will probably not be booked until the fourth quarter or later. That particularly affects sales of the company’s hand-launched Raven sensor platform, which provide real-time video imagery for “over the hill” and “around the corner” reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting.
AeroVironment said some of the revenue it had anticipated for this year will move into next year. For fiscal 2010, the company now expects revenue of about $245 million down from a range of $292 million to $302 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of nearly $291 million.
“We expect the delayed Raven orders to move into our fiscal 2011, providing us with a strong foundation for achieving growth next year,” Chief Executive Tim Conver said in a press release. “Our fundamental market position, customer relationships and long-term growth prospects remain strong.”
Shares were down 61 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $23.19 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.