Why Aerovironment, Inc.'s Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of drone maker AeroVironment, (NASDAQ: AVAV  ) jumped as much as 13.5% today after the company reported earnings.

So what: Revenue was down 19% in the fiscal second quarter, to $64.9 million, and net income dropped 80%, to $1.7 million, or $0.07 per share. Results were in-line with expectations, and the outlook for revenue of $230 million to $250 million and earnings of $0.35 to $0.50 per share were unchanged. 

Now what: Investors are taking Aerovironment's increased backlog as the reason to buy the stock today. Funded orders are up to $133.8 million from $59.4 million at the beginning of the fiscal year. The order intake in Q2 was positive, but still isn't enough to get me to jump into shares. We've seen the ups and downs of orders for unmanned aircraft before, and one good quarter doesn't spell a trend, especially the direction net income went this quarter.

Long-term, I'm optimistic about Aerovironment, but I'd like to see more revenue and profit hit the income statement, and continued solid orders before jumping in.

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