AeroVironment's CEO Confirms Plans To Use Drones Commercially
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) CEO Timothy Conver was on CNBC's Fast Money Tuesday evening, appearing with Qube, a small drone system “optimized for public service,” highlighting rescue for the lost as a major application of the technology.
According to Conver, AeroVironment feels optimistic of future play in the defense sector despite many analysts' predicting the days of high spending on defense all but over.
“I think most people agree that long-term cyber, special operations, and ISR intelligence, which means UAVs and unmanned airplane systems, will be a priority in the defense department. Clearly there is a lot of uncertain in the budget,” said Conver.
“Sequestration, continuing resolutions, but for us we have found that in the first half of our fiscal year, which we just concluded and reported on, we have almost record backlog, great visibility looking forward to the second half of the year, and quite a bit of runway build our visibility for next year, so we're optimistic and we think that's a pretty good situation.”
AeroVironment has produced drones for of 20 years, and Conver confirmed there is a plan for bring drones into the commercial spotlight as the stock enters a 52-week high.
“There's been outside, third party market research studies that indicate maybe $80 plus million dollars in, billion, excuse me, [$80 billion] in the economic benefits between 2015 and 2025 just in the United States in the commercial application of UAS. Most of that will be small UAS and we think our proven history in leadership in that area would be a great growth opportunity for us,” said Conver.
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