AeroVironment shares slump after 1Q loss

Unmanned aircraft maker AeroVironment posts 1Q loss, revenue below expectations

Associated Press

MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) -- AeroVironment Inc. reported a wider quarterly loss than expected amid falling sales for its drone aircraft, highlighting the risk posed by cuts in defense spending.

But the company's forecast Thursday of earnings and revenue for the fiscal year ending next April was better than analysts were expecting.

However, the company's shares were down $1.75, or 7.2 percent, to $22.47 in late trading.

Chairman and CEO Timothy Conver said that he had expected low revenue and a loss in the fiscal first quarter that ended July 28 "because we are staffed and investing to achieve the growth we expect in the second half of this year and beyond."

For the full fiscal year, the company estimated earnings of $1.41 to $1.51 per share. The midpoint of $1.46 per share would beat analysts' forecast of $1.44 per share.

The company said full-year revenue would be $348 million to $370 million, and the midpoint of $359 million would top analysts' $353.7 million estimate.

For its fiscal first quarter, AeroVironment lost $1.4 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with net income of $326,000, or a penny per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of 3 cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $58.7 million, with sales in the unmanned aircraft business sliding $3.4 million lower. Analysts expected $62.4 million.

Backlog as of July 28 was $98.4 million, compared with $93.2 million three months earlier.

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