Shares of AeroVironment Inc. rose nearly 5 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday as the company reported strong improvement in its fiscal third-quarter earnings, driven by orders for its drone aircraft and electric-car battery chargers.
After the markets closed Tuesday, the Monrovia company reported third-quarter profit of $11.2 million (49 cents a share) for the quarter ended Jan. 25, compared with $3.9 million (17 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue jumped 47 percent to $69.2 million.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected earnings of 19 cents a share on revenue of $64.9 million.
Revenue from AeroVironment’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems division, which has been hurting due to delays in receiving U.S. government orders, rose 53 percent to $57.5 million. Revenue from its Simi Valley-based Efficient Energy Systems, which includes electrical vehicle chargers, rose 24 percent to $11.7 million.
Looking ahead to the end of the fiscal 2014, AeroVironment expects full-year earnings of 35 cents to 50 cents a share, with revenue of $230 million to $250 million. The Wall Street consensus is for full-year earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $246 million.
"We are confident that our strong customer relationships, diverse set of capabilities and well-established positions in high potential growth opportunities will advance our leadership in each of our target markets and enhance value for our shareholders,” said Chief Executive Tim Conver in a statement.
Shares closed up $1.02, or 3 percent, to $31.74 on the Nasdaq, and rose 4.8 percent in after-hours trading.