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About Aerovironment, Inc.

AeroVironment (AV) gives soldiers a birds-eye view of their mission. The company designs and manufactures a line of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the Department of Defense (DoD). The business addresses the increasing economic and security value of distributed, network-centric intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance ("ISR"), communications, remote sensing and effects delivery with innovative UAS and tactical missile system solutions. Born in 1925, Paul MacCready founded AeroVironment in 1971. The company generates more than half of total sales domestically.


AV operates its business as a single reportable segment. It has major products lines and program such as Small UAS (more than 60%), Tactical missile system, TMS, (nearly 20%), High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite, HAPS, (nearly 20%) and others (about 5%).

Small UAS, including Raven, Wasp AE, Puma AE, Puma LE, VAPOR and Quantix Recon are designed to operate reliably at very low altitudes in a wide range of environmental conditions, providing a vantage point from which to collect and deliver valuable information. Military forces employ the company's small UAS to deliver ISR and communications.

TMS consists of tube-launched aircraft that deploy with the push of a button, fly at higher speeds than its small UAS, and perform either effects delivery or reconnaissance missions. AV also has existing solutions such as terrestrial cellular towers and communications.

In addition, AV provides comprehensive training services to support all of the small UAS and tactical missile systems for defense applications.

Overall, the business focuses primarily on the design, development, production, marketing, support and operation of innovative UAS and tactical missile systems that provide situational awareness, remote sensing, multi-band communications, force protection and other information and mission effects to increase the safety and effectiveness of our customers' operations. Its products accounts for around 70% of total sales.

Geographic Reach

The company is based in Southern California. It has facilities located in Alabama, Kansas, Massachusetts and Virginia. Its international sales accounted for approximately 45% of its revenue.

Sales and Marketing

AV sells the majority of its UAS and services to organizations within the DoD, including the US Army, Marine Corps, Special Operations Command, Air Force and Navy, and to allied governments. It sells tactical missile systems to organizations within the US government. It also develops High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite ("HAPS") systems for HAPS Mobile Inc., a commercial joint venture of which the company owns approximately 10%. The US Army and other US government agencies generate about 60% of its total sales. Non-US government is responsible for the remaining 40%.

AV's advertising expenses were approximately $934,000, $897,000, and $526,000 for the years 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.

Financial Performance

AV's revenue for the last five years has been increasing. Since 2016, revenue shot up by 57%. Profits for the company increased year-over-year for the same period.

Revenue for the fiscal year 2020 was $367.3 million, as compared to $314.3 million for the fiscal year 2019, representing an increase of $53.0 million, or 17%. The increase in revenue was due to an increase in product revenue of $44.7 million and an increase in service revenue of $8.3 million.

Net income fell by 13% to $41.1 million in fiscal 2020. An increase in the cost of sales, an increase in R&D expenses, and higher income tax expense all contributed to the decrease in net income.

Cash at the end of 2020 was $255.1 million. Net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations was $25.1 million, and cash provided by investing activities was $59.2 million. Financing activities used $1.8 million for tax withholding payments.


AeroVironment intends to grow its business by preserving a leadership position in its core UAS and tactical missile systems markets, and by creating new solutions that enable it to create and establish leadership positions in new markets. Key components of this strategy include the following:

Expand the market penetration of existing products and services by increasing the penetration of its small UAS products and services within the US military, the military forces of allied nations, other government agencies and non-government organizations, including commercial entities, and to increase the penetration of its tactical missile systems within the US military and within the military forces of allied nations;

Deliver innovative new solutions into existing and new markets by pursuing internal and customer-funded research and development to develop better, more capable products, services and business models, both in response to and in anticipation of emerging customer needs;

Foster entrepreneurial culture and continue to attract, develop and retain highly-skilled personnel by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurialism, which helps to attract and retain highly-skilled professionals;

Preserve its agility and flexibility by responding rapidly to evolving markets, solve complicated customer problems, and strive to deliver new products, services and capabilities quickly, efficiently and affordably relative to available alternatives; and

Effectively manage its growth portfolio for long-term value creation by making informed decisions regarding potential growth capital requirements and supports its allocation of resources based on relative risks and returns to maximize long-term value creation, which is a key element of its growth strategy.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In mid-2019, AeroVironment announced it has acquired Pulse Aerospace, LLC, a developer and supplier of small VTOL UAS based in the US, for $25.7 million in cash. The acquisition expands total addressable market by increasing mission capabilities of AeroVironment family of systems.

Aerovironment, Inc.

900 Innovators Way
Simi Valley, CA 93065-2072
Phone: 1 (805) 581-2187

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: AVAV
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
Chairman: Timothy Conver
Senior Vice President Operations: Kenneth Karklin
President and CEO: Wahid Nawabi
Employees (This Location): 60
Employees (All Locations): 828

Major Office Locations

Simi Valley, CA

Other Locations

Huntsville, AL
Monrovia, CA
Simi Valley, CA
Navarre, FL