Higher sales at both its unmanned aircraft and energy systems units kept AeroVironment Inc. in the black in its fiscal second quarter, surprising Wall Street analysts who had expected a loss.

After markets closed Tuesday, the Monrovia company reported net income of $262,000 (1 cent a share) in the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with $2.2 million (10 cents) a year earlier.

Revenue rose 24 percent to $63.8 million, with sales up 23 percent at the unmanned aircraft systems unit, which sells small surveillance drones to the military, and 33 percent at its smaller efficient energy systems unit, which makes chargers for electric vehicles.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected AeroVironment to report a per-share loss of 6 cents on revenue of $51.9 million.

The company said it expects fiscal 2011 sales to grow 10 to 15 percent. “I believe that we are well on our way to achieving our annual performance targets and positioning AV for long-term growth,” said Chief Executive Tim Conver in a statement.

Shares of the company earlier closed up 9 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $23.37 on the Nasdaq.

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