AeroVironment UAS sales drop, funded backlog close to record

AeroVironment yesterday reported second quarter revenue of $64.9 million, down 19 percent from $80.3 million during the same period last year. However, the company also noted that its funded backlog — or unfilled orders for which funding has been appropriated to the company under contract — was $133.8 million, a big jump from $59.4 million as of April 30.

That backlog helped fuel a surge in the company’s stock. Despite the lower revenue, AeroVironment’s stock rose more than 10 percent today to a 52-week high of $30.55 before settling at $29.76. Its growth was aided by earnings of $0.14 a share, which were down 64 percent from last year but beat analyst expectations.

The company says revenue was affected by a $9.3 million decrease in sales of unmanned aircraft systems as well as a $6.1 million decrease in its efficient energy systems segment. Based on its current backlog, though, executives expect to generate revenue of $230 million to $250 million for fiscal 2014 and earnings per diluted share of $0.35 to $0.50.

“Continued customer demand and solid execution produced quarterly revenue of $65 million and fully diluted earnings per share on an adjusted basis of $0.14, excluding a reduction of $0.07 per share from a decrease in value of the conversion option of our CybAero convertible bond investment,” Tim Conver, AeroVironment CEO, said in a statement. “Strong order flow produced our second highest quarterly funded backlog of $134 million, an important metric that provides us with greater visibility than in prior years and supports our guidance for fiscal 2014. This visibility represents a solid foundation for multiple mid-and long-term growth opportunities.”

AeroVironment’s fiscal 2014 second quarter ended Oct. 26.

[ photo courtesy of AeroVironment ]