AeroVironment Inc., the Monrovia company that makes small spy drones and electric vehicle charging systems, posted a first-quarter loss of $1.4 million, or 6 cents a share, brought on by decreased sales of its robotic aircraft.
Analysts on average had forecast a loss of 3 cents a share.
In the same period last year the company had a profit of $326,000, or 2 cents a share.
AeroVironment is the Pentagon's top supplier of small drones — including the Raven, Wasp and Puma models — that give troops on the ground a bird's-eye view of what's happening over a ridge or around a bend.
The company, which makes drones in its Simi Valley facilities, said revenue decreased 5% to $58.7 million compared with $62 million for the same quarter last year.
Drone sales for the quarter fell 6.5% to $48.8 million from $52.2 million in the same quarter last year.
In a conference call, AeroVironment Chief Executive Timothy E. Conver said the decrease in drone sales was expected. The company depends largely on funding from the Pentagon, which is winding down its presence in the Middle East.