MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) — AeroVironment Inc.'s shares sank sharply in after-hours trading Tuesday after the defense company said delays in government orders led to a disappointing fiscal third quarter, and it expects those delays will seriously hurt its financial performance for the year.
The company, based in Monrovia, Calif., reported that it earned $3.9 million, or 17 cents per share, for the period that ended Jan. 26. That is down from $5.7 million, or 26 cents per share, earned in the same quarter of the prior year. Its total revenue fell to $47.1 million from $72 million, largely due to lower sales in its unmanned aircraft systems and efficient energy systems segments.
The quarter's results fell far short of market expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, expected profit of 37 cents per share on revenue of $89.2 million.
"We believe these are delays in order timing, and not lost orders," Tim Conver, company chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Conver said AeroVinronment has recalibrated its order and shipping expectations in the U.S. based on trends it is seeing now. As a result, the company said it expects a significant reduction in the revenue and earnings this year.
The company lowered its 2013 fiscal year forecast. It now expects earnings per share of 30 to 50 cents per share on revenue of $230 million to $250 million. It previously forecast revenue of $348 million to $370 million.
Analysts expected earnings of $1.45 per share on revenue of $352.5 million for the year.
Shares fell $5.14, or 24 percent, to $16.55 in after-hours trading. The stock closed regular trading at $21.69.