May 02, 2012      
Performance Snapshot

NASDAQ: AVAV

Revenue

  • 1Q2012 $71.9 million
  • Previous quarter $80.37 million
  • Same quarter 2011 $84.43 million
  • Revenue down by $8.4 million from previous quarter. Reason: Decrease in revenue resulting from decreased sales in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) segment.

Weak sales: 52wk H: 36.49 L: 23.70, with 52-week low (April 24) testing a level not seen since August 2011. In March (2012) the company missed FQ3 estimates due to weak defense sales. ?Seeking Alpha

Lower earnings estimates: First time the company didn’t beat earnings estimates in more than a year, showing weakness in both the defense and electric charger business.

Maybe a rebound ahead: The company has announced $28.3 million in unmanned aircraft orders since April 18 and military trends are heading toward observation and unmanned aircraft, AeroVironment’s specialty. ?Motley Fool

Transactions

U.S. Marine Corps First to Procure Four Different AeroVironment Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
U.S. Marine Corps is the first military service to adopt four different small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from AeroVironment.

U.S. Army Places $20.4 Million Order for AeroVironment RQ-20A Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Received a firm fixed-price order valued at $20,430,433 from the U.S. Army for RQ-20A Puma AE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

U.S. Air Force Places $2.4 Million Order for AeroVironment Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
First Puma system order for Air Force. Adds to RQ-11B Raven and Wasp small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Firm fixed-price order valued at $3,653,519 on March 15, 2012 from the United States Marine Corps through an existing U.S. Army contract.
The order includes RQ-11B Raven small unmanned aircraft systems and initial spares packages. The systems and spares were scheduled for delivery before April 17, 2012.

Future perspective

The Rising 10 of 2012 AeroVironment to expand reach of UAVs to civilian and law enforcement.
With the FAA’s new airspace regulations that allow for more civilian use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), AeroVironment is marketing its smaller UAVs with law enforcement, environmental and atmospheric sensing, emergency and disaster management or police surveillance, wildlife management…even crop dusting expected to be first-time users.

New technology

Unveils Modular Gimbaled Sensor Payload on RQ-11B Raven Small Unmanned Aircraft System
Gimbaled sensor payload enables a higher level of visual fidelity and continuous observation of an item of interest regardless of the air vehicle?s flight direction. Flight algorithms enable the air vehicle to manage its own flight path based on what the user wants to see, rather than requiring the user to control both the air vehicle and the sensor separately.

Product pipeline

A new unmanned capability aircraft could help save the lives of our soldiers.
This new battery operated device called “Shrike” was made by AeroVironment, Inc. and could increase route clearance and protection capability to inspect culverts, ditches, routes and alleys for IEDs and other hazards.

New ventures

Introduces the Qube Small Unmanned Aircraft System for Public Safety Professionals; Announces Test and Evaluation Program
First solution tailored to law enforcement, first response and other public safety missions from the leading supplier of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)

New alliances/partnerships

AeroVironment signs licensing deal
Gained exclusive license to market an Australian-made target detection software system for small drones. The global licensing agreement with Sentient follows 18 months of collaboration between the companies for integration of Sentient’s Kestrel Land MTI Tier I software with AeroVironment’s software for AeroVironment’s existing common Ground Control System.

Analyst Comments

5 Companies Driving Us Into A Robotic Future
AeroVironment (AVAV). AeroVironment stands on the cutting edge of unmanned aerial reconnaissance. Primarily a manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems for the Department of Defense, the company has serviced the military with handheld robotic devices used for the surveillance of ground opposition. As a demonstration of its innovation, the company recently developed the smallest unmanned aerial vehicle to date. Named one of the “50 best innovations of 2011” by TIME Magazine, the Nano Hummingbird was designed by AeroVironment as a compact surveillance unit capable of covert and controlled observation. This would be especially useful for urban environments. Clearly, the company demonstrates the amount of innovation that lies ahead for robots taking to the skies. –Seeking Alpha

See RBR50: AeroVironment