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NEW YORK (
AeroVironment(AVAV - Get Report) shares leapt in extended trading on Tuesday after the Monrovia, Calif.-based maker of unmanned aircraft reported an above-consensus quarterly profit and gave a bullish outlook for the current fiscal year.
The company, which also develops electric vehicle charging systems, said it earned $17.6 million, or 79 cents a share, on revenue of $106.1 million for its fiscal fourth quarter ended in April, up from a year-ago equivalent profit of $15.6 million, or 71 cents a share, on revenue of $99.4 million, and ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by
Thomson Reuters for earnings of 69 cents a share on revenue of $99.1 million.
The company said its funded backlog had swelled to $82.9 million as of April 30, a 13% increase from $72.3 million at the same time a year ago. For fiscal 2012, ending next April, AeroVironment forecast earnings of $1.28 to $1.35 a share on revenue ranging from $321 million to $336 million. The current average analysts' view for the full year is for earnings of $1.24 a share on revenue of $318.8 million.
"Electric vehicle charging solutions and digital Puma unmanned aircraft systems successfully transitioned from development to production programs with attractive long-term growth prospects, while other innovative developments progressed toward customer adoption," said Tim Conver, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement, adding later that AeroVironment is seeing "strong demand" for its products.
The stock was last quoted at $31.61, up 10.5%, on after-hours volume of nearly 80,000, according to
Nasdaq.com. Based on a regular session close at $28.61, the shares were up 6.7% year-to-date, although they've pulled back since hitting a 52-week high of $35.96 on April 1.
Wall Street had some reservations about AeroVironment ahead of the report with 10 of the 16 analysts covering the stock at hold.
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