• News
  • Activist investor pushes AeroVironment onto defensive

Activist investor pushes AeroVironment onto defensive

Unmanned systems and electric vehicle recharging equipment maker AeroVironment was forced on the defensive on 17 July by an activist investor that has accumulated a sizeable chunk of the company's shareholding.

Engaged Capital, which has spent some $25 million to build up a 5% stake, is thought to want to pressure the company to put its healthy cash balance into growth investment - especially to reduce its reliance on US military spending.

AeroVironment says it "welcomes open communications with all of its stockholders and values their input" and adds: "We will continue to take actions that we believe enable us to achieve this objective."

In its year to 30 April, AeroVironment's pre-tax profit slumped by three-quarters to $10.4 million as revenue fell by more than a quarter to $240.2 million. In its dominant unmanned systems division, revenue was down 28% to $194.3 million and segment gross profit dropped by 32% to $79.1 million.

The company attributed the performance to "government contracting delays for unmanned aircraft systems, combined with lower than expected electric vehicle adoption rates".

For its year to end-April 2014, AeroVironment is forecasting revenue on a par with last year.

Related Content