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AeroVironment hurt by less military contracts

Maker of military drones sees profits erode as government spending is put on hold

Associated Press

Drone-maker AeroVironment ended the year with a $10.4 million profit, despite losing $795,000 in its fourth quarter. The company blamed the quarterly loss on continued research and development expenses and a shrinking revenue stream due to "government contracting delays."

The Monrovia, Calif., company saw a net profit of $30.5 million last year, including $17.8 million in the fourth quarter.

Shareholders this quarter lost 4 cents per share, better than the 9 cents Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet estimated they would lose, but much worse than the 80 cents they earned last year at this time.

The company took in $54.1 million in revenue during the quarter ended April 30, beating Wall Street's estimate of $47.6 million, but that was nearly half of its revenue last year.

AeroVironment designs, develops, produces and supports an advanced portfolio of unmanned aircraft systems for the U.S. militarily and its allies.

Looking ahead, the company said it expects to earn 35 cents to 50 cents per share in fiscal 2014 on revenue of $230 million to $250 million. That compares with the average analyst estimate for earnings per share of 45 cents and revenue of $228.9 million.

Shares of the company rose in after-hours trading to $20.55, up 97 cents, or 5 percent. Shares ended the regular session up 22 cents to $19.58.

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