AeroVironment drone sales lose altitude
Drone maker AeroVironment Inc. on Tuesday said its quarterly revenue fell from a year ago on decreased sales in its unmanned aircraft systems business.
The unmanned-aircraft system business accounts for roughly 90% of sales but generated $2.8 million less in revenue, a 3.6% fall, in the fiscal fourth quarter AeroVironment reported.
Shares of AeroVironment declined 5.3% to $27 in after-hours trading.
AeroVironment also released its outlook for the current fiscal year with revenue estimates that didn’t quite measure up to analyst expectations.
For the fiscal year that ends next April, the company projected revenue between $260 million and $280 million with per-share earnings in the range of 20 cents to 35 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $285 million with profit of 28 cents per share.
AeroVironment makes drones and rechargeable-battery technology for electric vehicles. The company, founded in 1981, traces its roots to the Gossamer Condor, the first human-powered airplane developed by company founder Paul MacCready.
For the fourth quarter ended April 30, the company posted a profit of $5.4 million, or 23 cents a share, down from $7.1 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue fell 2% to $84.8 million.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast a per-share loss of 7 cents on revenue of $85 million.
The use of drones has been at the center of debate over air safety, privacy and regulation of U.S. skies. Last year, the Federal Aviation Administration released provisions for small unmanned aircrafts weighing less than 55 pounds.