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Fri, Jan. 15, 4:56 PM
- Wahid Nawabi, less than 9 months removed from being named AeroVironment's (NASDAQ:AVAV) COO, will now also serve as the UAV maker's President. Tim Conver remains chairman/CEO.
- Conver: "Wahid's effective leadership as chief operating officer has contributed to significant improvements in our focus and operational effectiveness. Wahid will continue to focus on executing our operating plan while taking on a larger role in our strategic planning process to drive continued value creation."
- The move comes five weeks after AeroVironment delivered a big FQ2 beat. The EPS portion of the beat was fueled in part by spending controls and major gross margin improvement.
Dec. 30, 2015, 2:45 AM
- Federal regulators are looking for ways to ensure that drones operating beyond sight - such as delivery drones - stay away from manned aircraft.
- A preliminary plan calls for relying on what is known a ADS-B technology, a system planes use to determine and broadcast their location via satellites, which would allow drones to sense manned aircraft and automatically avoid them.
- Alphabet has already proposed using a system similar to ADS-B but is less costly, while Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has suggested segregating the airspaces between manned aircraft, and different types of drones.
- Related stocks: AMBA, AVAV, DJI, OTCQB:DRNE, DPZ, HON, INVN, IXYS, GPRO, TRMB
- Previously: Amazon releases new drone delivery video (Nov. 30 2015)
- Previously: More steps taken toward safe drone integration (Oct. 26 2015)
- Previously: Final commercial drone rules expected by next June (Jun. 18 2015)
Dec. 25, 2015, 4:02 AM
- Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) has won a contract worth $93M to build a full-scale demonstrator of a new unmanned spy plane that would operate on destroyers and frigates.
- Navy officials would like UAVs to carry out intelligence and surveillance measures from smaller warships, but current drones are unable to take off and land from confined spaces at sea and then stay airborne for long periods.
- Aerovironment (NASDAQ:AVAV), the only other competitor for the contract, did not submit a bid.
Dec. 21, 2015, 2:38 AM
- The FAA will open its mandatory drone registration program today in a move that could likely transition a growing hobbyist community to mass-market commercial industry.
- Owners will be required to submit their names, home and email addresses to a national database, and to put a registration number on unmanned aircraft weighing from half a pound to 55 pounds.
- An owner of a drone before Monday will have until Feb. 19 to register, but anyone who gets a drone after the website opens will have to register before its first flight.
- Link to the FAA website
- Related stocks: AMBA, AVAV, OTCQB:DRNE, GPRO, INVN, IXYS, TRMB
- Previously: FAA to require registration for most drones (Dec. 15 2015)
Dec. 15, 2015, 4:20 AM
- Drone owners will have to register their devices starting next week under new FAA rules aimed at controlling the sharp increase of unmanned aircraft in U.S. skies.
- After signing up their device, operators will receive a unique user number that they must attach or write on any machines they own.
- Registration is seen as the latest step in the drone industry's transition from a hobbyist community to a mass-market commercial industry.
- Related stocks: AMBA, AVAV, OTCQB:DRNE, GPRO, INVN, IXYS, TRMB
Dec. 9, 2015, 12:48 PM
Dec. 8, 2015, 5:44 PM
- AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV) has jumped to $26.70 after hours after soundly beating FQ2 estimates. FY16 (ends April '16) guidance for revenue of $260M-$280M and a gross margin of 36%-37.5% has been reiterated; the revenue consensus is at $265.9M.
- Backlog/sales: Funded backlog totaled $97.2M at the end of FQ2, +9% Q/Q but -22% Y/Y. Drone (UAS) division revenue rose 32% Y/Y to $56.6M; EV charging system division revenue fell 15% to $8.1M.
- Financials: Boosting EPS: Gross margin rose to 49% from 34% in FQ1 and a year ago. SG&A spend rose by $1.1M to $14.7M; R&D spend rose by $1.4M to $9.9M. AeroVironment ended FQ2 with $206M in cash (compares with a current market cap of $627M), and no debt.
- FQ2 results, earnings release
Dec. 8, 2015, 5:37 PM
Dec. 8, 2015, 4:15 PM
Dec. 7, 2015, 5:35 PM
Nov. 25, 2015, 9:35 AM
- The U.S. Marine Corps has placed a $13M order for AeroVironment's (AVAV +2.4%) small RQ-20A Puma AE UAVs and related spare parts. AeroVironment notes the Marines use the Puma AE as "the long-range solution for its small unit remote scouting system (SURSS), complementing the AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV) RQ-11B Raven and RQ-12A Wasp."
- For reference, AeroVironment had July quarter UAS division revenue of $40.2M (-2% Y/Y). An charging system deal with Hyundai was announced yesterday.
Nov. 24, 2015, 10:44 AM
- Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF) has selected AeroVironment (AVAV +0.8%) as the preferred provider for charging system installation at its dealerships across North America for its all-new 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid.
- The automaker is the seventh plug-in electric vehicle car manufacturer to choose AeroVironment as one of its suppliers.
Oct. 16, 2015, 4:34 PM
- Figures from data visualization firm Silk.co indicate the FAA granted 1,307 exemptions for commercial drones between April and August, up from just 60 between September 2014 and March 2015. Nearly half of all approvals in the history of the FAA's program (as of August) were in July and August.
- The trigger: The FAA's March decision to allow commercial drone users to obtain blanket authorizations to fly drones below 200 feet (during daylight hours, and outside of restricted airspace) through the Section 333 exemption process. Final rules for commercial drone use that could enable a wider set of applications (including drone delivery services such as Amazon's Prime Air) are expected by mid-2016.
- Silk's data suggests a variety of industries have applied for exemptions: 28.1% of the exemptions were related to drone use for photo/video purposes, 18.4% for real estate, 14% for utilities/energy/infrastructure, and 10.6% apiece for agriculture and construction.
- AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV), which has been developing commercial UAVs to go with its core military offerings, is a potential beneficiary. As is video processor developer Ambarella (NASDAQ:AMBA), which received over 10% of its revenue from the drone market for the first time during the July quarter.
- Update: Some other drone-related news: NBC News reports the government (on edge over recent close calls between drones and other aircraft) plans to require all purchased drones to be registered with the DOT.
Oct. 13, 2015, 10:54 AM
- AeroVironment (AVAV +0.9%) has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract from the U.S. Army totaling $18.5M to supply initial RQ-11B Raven unmanned aircraft systems to seven allied nations.
- The Raven, designed for applications requiring low-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, is currently the most widely used drone system in the world.
Sep. 14, 2015, 12:26 PM
- Piper's Troy Jenesen has upgraded AeroVironment (AVAV +1.8%) to Overweight after attending the UAS industry's InterDrone conference, and set a $28 target.
- Jensen: "Following talks with multiple company executives, industry contacts and UAS users, we walked away from the conference incrementally more bullish about the UAS industry and specifically the Commercial UAS market. Despite the current regulatory environment, almost every company continues to see strong demand for UAS technology and the Section 333 Exemption process continues to represent an efficient pathway for Enterprises to use drones in a variety of industries."
- He expects final FAA regulations for small drone to be released in mid-2016, and thinks broader investor interest in drones could propel AeroVionment higher. Jensen also argues shares are cheap at an 1.3x forward EV/sales ratio, and believes AeroVironment's military pipeline "should see solid growth over the next several years coupled with the company’s military growth initiatives which include Switchblade, DARPA Tern Project and International expansion."
- The upgrade comes two weeks after AeroVironment tumbled in response to an FQ1 miss. Shares remain within a dollar of a 52-week low of $20.12.
Sep. 1, 2015, 5:39 PM
AeroVironment Inc is engaged in the design, develop, produce, support and operate a technological portfolio of products and services. It supplies unmanned aircraft systems, UAS, tactical missile systems and related services within the US DoD.
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