UPDATE 1-AeroVironment profit beats on higher unmanned drone sales

Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:26pm EDT

* Q4 EPS $0.80 vs est $0.72

* Q4 revenue rose 4 pct

* Sees FY 2013 EPS $1.41-$1.51 vs est $1.44

* Sees FY 2013 rev $348 mln-$370 mln vs est $349.4 mln

* Shares rise 9 pct after the bell

June 26 (Reuters) - Drone maker AeroVironment Inc posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and forecast a strong 2013, helped by higher sales of its unmanned drones, sending shares up 9 percent after the bell.

For 2013, the company expects to earn $1.41 to $1.51 per share on revenue of $348 million to $370 million.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.44 per share on revenue of $349.4 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For the fourth quarter, AeroVironment's net income was $17.8 million, or 80 cents per share, compared with $17.6 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $110.7 million. Revenue at its unmanned aircraft systems division rose 7 percent to $97.35 million.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 72 cents per share on revenue of $111.3 million.

Shares of the company rose 9 percent to $27.60 after the bell. They had closed at $25.44 on Tuesday on the Nasdaq.