Aerovironment cuts full-year forecast, shares tumble

March 5 Tue Mar 5, 2013 5:49pm EST

March 5 (Reuters) - Drone maker Aerovironment Inc reported a lower quarterly profit and cut its full-year forecast on delays in government orders, sending it shares down 24 percent after the bell.

"Over $100 million of planned revenue will have slid from our fiscal 2013," CEO Tim Conver said on a post-earnings conference call.

He added that many of these delayed orders will be pushed out into fiscal 2014.

Defense companies are bracing for sustained pressure on military budgets under a process called sequestration, or the automatic across-the-board U.S. government spending cuts that began last week.

The company said it now expects sales between $230 million and $250 million, down from its previous forecast of $348 million to $370 million.

Aerovironment cut its profit forecast to 30-50 cents per share from the $1.41-$1.51 per share range it forecast earlier.

Net income for the third quarter fell to $3.9 million, or 17 cents per share, from $5.7 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell 34.6 percent to $47.1 million.

Monrovia, California-based Aerovironment's shares were trading down 22 percent at $16.93 after the bell. They closed at $21.69 on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.