Where there’s money to be made, you’ll find investors…ok, hedge funds.
Jeff Hoffman keys on startup success (Photo credit: TechCocktail)
Leena Rao’s TechCrunch article yesterday on the return of hedge funds to startup investing identifies a trend that we all felt was happening but didn’t necessarily have the high-profile example to jog us. When Snapchat, the hot social app reportedly rebuffed a $3 billion dollar buyout offer from Facebook and instead, turned to go it alone by raising a $50 million round, it did so not by turning to venture capitalists.
Snapchat raised its money from a hedge fund (from Coatue Management, to be exact).
And there are other examples of hedge funds leaving the world of public market investing to place their bets on startups:
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Hewlett-Packard Company(HPQ)
Hewlett-Packard Company and its subsidiaries provide products, technologies, software, solutions, and services to individual consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), as well as to the government, health, and education sectors worldwide. Its Personal Systems Group segment offers commercial personal computers (PCs), consumer PCs, workstations, calculators and other related accessories, and software and services for the commercial and consumer markets. The company?s Services segment provides consulting, outsourcing, and technology services to infrastructure, applications, and business process domains. Its Imaging and Printing Group segment provides consumer and commercial printer hardware, supplies, media, and scanning devices, such as inkjet and Web solutions, laser jet and enterprise solutions, managed enterprise solutions, graphics solutions, and printer supplies. The company?s Enterprise Servers, Storage, and Networking segment offers industry standard s e rvers, business critical systems, storage platforms, and networking products, including switches, routers, wireless LAN, and TippingPoint network security products. Its HP Software segment provides enterprise IT management software, information management solutions, and security intelligence/risk management solutions. The company?s HP Financial Services segment offers leasing, financing, utility programs, and asset recovery services; and financial asset management services for enterprise customers, as well as specialized financial services to SMBs, and educational and governmental entities. Hewlett-Packard Company also provides business intelligence solutions that enable businesses to standardize on consistent data management schemes, connect and share data across the enterprise, and apply analytics, as well as licenses its specific technology to third parties. The company was founded in 1939 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
- [By Marc Bastow]
The week’s biggest name was Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which continued its remarkable turnaround with the announcement of a double-digit bump in its dividend payout, continuing a string of annual dividend increases that started in 2011.
- [By Mike Deane]
Before markets opened on Thursday, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) announced a 10.2% increase to its quarterly dividend, boosting the payout from 14.5 cents to 16 cents.
Hewlett-Packard’s new annualized payout is 64 cents, up from 58 cents. The increase to the dividend will not become effective until around May, when HPQ’s board is expected to declare the company’s next dividend. This will make the fourth year in a row that HPQ declares a dividend raise in May.
HPQ’s next dividend, which is payable on April 2, will still be 14.5 cents, and the dividend boost will not go into effect until the following dividend.
HPQ stock was up $1.09, or 3.57%, in pre-market trading. YTD, the company’s stock is up 14.32%.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: S&P GSCI(GD)
General Dynamics Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, provides business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions; military and commercial shipbuilding; and communications and information technology products and services worldwide. Its Aerospace group designs, manufactures, and outfits various large and mid-cabin business-jet aircraft; provides maintenance, repair work, fixed-based operations, and aircraft management services; and performs aircraft completions for aircraft. The company?s Combat Systems group offers tracked and wheeled military vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions. Its product lines include wheeled combat and tactical vehicles; battle tanks and infantry vehicles; munitions and propellant; rockets and gun systems; and axle and drivetrain components and aftermarket parts. This group also manufactures and supplies engineered axles, suspensions, and brakes for heavy-load vehicles for military and commercial customers. The company Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Rich Smith]
The Department of Defense awarded nine separate defense contracts Monday, worth $1.6 billion in total. Among these, two contracts went to General Dynamics (NYSE: GD ) and Australian shipbuilder Austal (NASDAQOTH: AUTLY ) , its partner in building half the U.S. Navy’s fleet of Littoral Combat Ships, or LCSes.
- [By Marc Bastow]
Defense contractor General Dynamics (GD) raised its quarterly dividend 10.7% to 62 cents per share, payable May 9 to shareholders of record as of April 11. The increase is the 17th consecutive annual dividend raise for GD.
GD Dividend Yield: 2.23%
- [By Philip Springer]
This week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel proposed a defense budget that would reduce the US Army to its smallest force since before World War II. And we were woefully under-prepared for that war.
The proposals will face powerful resistance from members of Congress, veterans’ organizations, arms manufacturers and more. Complete details of the proposed federal budget are to be released next week.
The timing is unfortunate. For example, consider this headline from last night: “Russia says it will respect the ‘territorial integrity’ of Ukraine.” Maybe. But such statements are meaningless.
Amid considerable other global unrest these days, reducing our spending on defense seems imprudent. However, various constraints that have built up over time require it, or reductions elsewhere.
Fifty years ago, the military made up nearly half of government spending. Now it’s about 17 percent. Entitlements were one-third of the budg et then. Now they’re approaching two-thirds. “This is a time for reality,” Hagel said.
Under the new approach, the emphasis is to shift from the longstanding goal of being able to fight two wars simultaneously, such as in Europe and Asia; and toward such threats as cyber warfare and terrorism.
For instance, the size of the active-duty military would decline by 13 percent and the reserves by 5 percent in coming years. But Special Operations forces would grow by 6 percent.
Inevitably, this would mean increased risk in the event of a second crisis. “You have fewer troops, fewer ships, fewer planes,” Hagel said. “Readiness is not the same standard. Of course there’s going to be risk.”
The Army currently is scheduled to drop to 490,000 troops from a post-9/11 peak of 570,000. Under the new proposal, the Army would decline to between 440,000 and 450,000 based on the current mandate to impose a military spending cap of about $496 billion for fis
- [By Lee Jackson]
General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) is the only other defense name to be a stock to Buy at UBS. Strong orders from overseas customers are helping to offset the decline in domestic defense spending. While orders have improved, the company’s backlog is flat with last year’s numbers. Investors are paid a 2.24% dividend. The UBS price target is $118, and the consensus target is $111.76. The stock closed Wednesday at $105.26.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Express-1 Expedited Solutions Inc.(XPO)
XPO Logistics, Inc. provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea, and air carriers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It operates in three segments: Express-1, Concert Group Logistics, and Bounce Logistics. The Express-1 segment offers ground expedited surface transportation services for freight. It operates a fleet ranging from cargo vans to semi tractor trailer units. The Concert Group Logistics segment provides domestic and international freight forwarding services through a network of independently owned stations. Its domestic freight forwarding services include air charter, expedites, and time sensitive services, as well as cost sensitive services comprising deferred delivery, less than truckload, and full truck load services; and international freight forwarding services consist of on-board courier and air charters, time sensitive services, less-than-container and full-container-loads, and vessel charters. This segm ent also offers documentation on international shipments, customs clearance and banking, trade show shipment management, time definite and customized product distributions, reverse logistics and on site asset recovery projects, installation coordination, freight optimization, and diversity compliance support services. The Bounce Logistics segment provides premium freight brokerage services for truckload shipments. The company serves approximately 4,000 retail, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial customers through 6 U.S. operations centers and 22 agent locations. It offers its services to the automotive manufacturing, automotive components and supplies, commercial printing, durable goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products, and high tech sectors. The company was formerly known as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc. and changed its name to XPO Logistics, Inc. in September 2011. XPO Logistics, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Buchanan, Mich i gan.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO) shot up 7.06 percent to $30.01 after the company announced its plans to acquire Pacer International (NASDAQ: PACR) in a deal valued at $335 million.
- [By Travis Hoium]
What: Shares of XPO Logistics (NYSE: XPO ) jumped 13% today after announcing an acquisition.
So what: The company will pay $365 million for logistics provider 3PD, consisting of $357 million in cash an $8 million in XPO restricted stock. Is will use its own cash and borrow $195 million from Credit Suisse Group for the remainder of the purchase.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc.(FCX)
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company primarily explores for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt. It holds interests in various properties, located in North and South America; the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia; and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As of December 31, 2010, the company?s consolidated recoverable proven and probable reserves totaled 120.5 billion pounds of copper, 35.5 million ounces of gold, 3.39 billion pounds of molybdenum, 325.0 million ounces of silver, and 0.75 billion pounds of cobalt. The company was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Pick a mining stock, any mining stock, and there’s a very good chance that its future earnings are highly dependent on commodity prices. Rio Tinto (RIO) and Vale (VALE)? That’s iron ore. Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX)? That’s copper. Alcoa (AA)? That’s aluminum.
- [By Paul Ausick]
The sales big spender was Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) which posted 16 high bids, totaling just over $321 million. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) offered six high bids, totaling $106 million, followed by Murphy Oil Corp. (NYSE: MUR) with 16 high bids, totaling nearly $50 million, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE: RDS-A) with four high bids, totaling more than $45 million.
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
Stocks moving in the Premarket included:
Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) gained 0.60 percent in premarket trade after losing 2.86 percent over the past week. Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was up 0.56 percent in premarket trade after falling 1.12 percent on Tuesday. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc (NYSE: FCX) lost 1.01 percent in premarket trade after falling 9.44 percent over the past five days. Motorola Solutions Inc (NYSE: MSI) was down 0.85 percent in premarket trade after losing 0.53 percent on Tuesday.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc.(WEN)
The Wendy’s Company operates as a quick-service hamburger company in the United States. The company, through its subsidiary, Wendy’s International, Inc., operates as a franchisor of the Wendy’s restaurant system. As of December 26, 2011, the Wendy’s system comprised approximately 6,500 franchise and company restaurants in the United States and the United States territories, as well as in 26 other countries worldwide. The company was formerly known as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. and changed its name to The Wendy’s Company in July 2011. The Wendy’s Company was founded in 1884 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Yesterday, McDonald’s dropped 0.3% after reporting same-store sales–and Barron’s panned the stock. Today, however, McDonald’s shares have gained 3.5% to $98.56, leaving Burger King (BKW), which has ticked up 0.3% to $27.63, and Wendy’s (WEN), which has dropped 1.1% to $9.30, in their dust.
- [By Dan Moskowitz]
Wendy’s (NASDAQ: WEN ) knows what it’s doing. It has generated more interest from consumers and investors than McDonald’s and Burger King Worldwide (NYSE: BKW ) as of late, which has everything to do with its new strategy. Not only has Wendy’s undergone a brand transformation with newly remodeled restaurants and a redesigned logo, but it has also implemented a highly successful strategy with limited-time menu offerings.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Uranium Resources Inc.(URRE)
Uranium Resources, Inc. engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, and mining of uranium properties, using the in situ recovery or solution mining process. It owns developed and undeveloped uranium properties in South Texas; and undeveloped uranium properties in New Mexico. The company?s primary customers include utilities who utilize nuclear power to generate electricity. Uranium Resources, Inc. was founded in 1977 and is based in Lewisville, Texas.
- [By Bryan Murphy]
If you listened to my bullish calls from December 27th and/or February 24th about Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG), then congratulations – you’re now up as much as 50%, depending on when you stepped into a trade, and which stock you chose. Now get out. See, as well as URZ and URG have done and are doing (URRE not so much), it looks like the short-term rally I first spotted a little more than a couple of months ago has fully run its course, and now these names are setting up a pullback.
- [By James E. Brumley]
Well, I’ll give myself an A for effort, but a C- for timing. But, I can bump that C- up to a B+ if my intuition is right as we head into the last few days of 2013 and the first few of 2014. What I’m talking about is a bullish commentary I penned back on November 26th regarding Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ), Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE), and Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG). All three stocks were perking up, and more than that, the buzz surrounding URG, URRE, and URZ was getting louder. More often than not, when the fervor and bullish action and chatter reaches the levels they had reached a month ago, an explosion is right around the corner.
- [By James E. Brumley]
You know, were it just Uranium Resources, Inc. (NASDAQ:URRE) or just Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT:URG) or just Uranerz Energy Corp. (NYSEMKT:URZ) making a decided bullish move, I might be able to dismiss it. Similarly, if URZ had only been moving higher for one or two days (or only URG or only URRE), it might be easy to not be impressed. Neither of those situations has been the actual case, however. All three stocks have been moving upward for several days now, quite a bit, on noticeably higher volume. There’s something “going on”, as it were, and if prior group-wide movements are any clue, it’s the kind of move worth tapping into.
- [By John Udovich]
Since the start of the week, small cap nuclear fuel stock USEC Inc (NYSE: USU) more than doubled for investors, something that has not happened for investors in uranium stocks like Uranium Resources, Inc (NASDAQ: URRE), Denison Mines Corp (NYSEMKT: DNN), Ur-Energy Inc. (NYSEMKT: URG) and Uranerz Energy Corp (NYSEMKT: URZ). To recap: USEC Inc closed at the $6 level on Friday, but then it surged to the $15 level on Monday only to open at the $10 level on Tuesday when it ultimately closed at $12.46. So what in the world is going on with USEC Inc and is it time to revisit nuclear fuel and uranium stocks?
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Alliance Holdings GP L.P.(AHGP)
Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. The company operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia. As of December 31, 2010, it had approximately 697.4 million tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition, the company leases land; and operates a coal loading terminal, with a capacity of 8.0 million tons with ground storage of approximately 60,000 to 70,000 tons, on the Ohio River at Mt. Vernon, Indiana. Further, it engages in purchasing and selling coal; and providing services, including ash and scrubber sludge removal, coal yard maintenance, and arranging alternate transportation services. Alliance GP, LLC, serves as the general partner of the company. Allian ce Holdings GP, L.P. is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- [By Robert Rapier]
The National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships (NAPTP) lists five MLPs in the category “Natural Resources – Coal,” although two of the five are Alliance Holdings (NYSE: AHGP) and its operating affiliate, Alliance Resource Partners (NYSE: ARLP). The other three are Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP), Rhino Resource Partners (NYSE: RNO), and Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF).
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Alliance Holdings GP (Nasdaq: AHGP ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is base d in Armonk, New York.
- [By Paul Ausick]
Every one of the 30 Dow stocks is trading higher about half an hour before Monday’s closing gell. International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has posted the largest gain today, up 1.82% at $185.55 in a 52-week range of $172.19 to $215.82 just ahead of the closing bell. Volume is on track to be about 20% below the daily average of some 5 million shares traded. IBM’s share price is second-highest among the Dow stocks.
- [By Jon C. Ogg]
Before thinking that these five are the biggest drags on the DJIA for 2014, other DJIA stocks have been dead weight for a bit longer then 2014. Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) are down some 18% from their 52-week high, and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) are down some 14% from their 52-week high. Their problems began in 2014, so they are not on the year-to-date loser list of the DJIA stocks.
- [By Philip Springer]
What’s this week’s big story for investors?
Candidate #1: RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) said it will close up to 1,100 of its nearly 5,200 US stores amid widening losses. The company also announced that revenue in the fourth quarter of 2013 fell 20 percent from year-earlier levels.
It doesn’t matter whether the latest announcement is in addition to or merely an expansion of the company’s Feb. 5 statement that it would close 500 stores. That, in turn, shortly followed the beleaguered company’s $4 million expenditure for a widely praised but clearly ill-timed 30-second ad during the Super Bowl.
Also this week, Radio Shack agreed to pay its top executives “retention” bonuses, saying their skills are critical to the company’s comeback plan. CEO Joe Magnacca will get a $500,000 payment, while other executives will receive $187,500 to $275,000.
The stock currently trades around $2, down from its 1999 peak of $61.
No, that’s not the week’s big story. But it was too good to ignore.
Candidate #2: The current bull market celebrates its fifth birthday this week, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 delivering a total return of about 175 percent during that time.
Since 1921, the median bull market has been 50 months long and has delivered 115 percent in price appreciation. So this market is older and better than most. Still, the conditions aren’t yet present to suggest the end is near. Indeed, Wednesday’s advance, the best of the year to date, was exceptional for both its breadth and heavy volume.
The five-year anniversary also means that stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds and so on will boast very good five-year returns. Don’t be overly impressed. Reason: Almost everybody will be a winner. (Other than Radio Shack.) But you should dig deeper: Comparisons will be useful to sort out leaders and laggards f or potential investme
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: Compass Minerals Intl Inc(CMP)
Compass Minerals International, Inc., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets inorganic mineral products primarily in North America and the United Kingdom. The company operates in two segments, Salt and Specialty Fertilizer. The Salt segment produces salt and magnesium chloride for use in road deicing and dust control, food processing, water softeners, pool salt, and agricultural and industrial applications. This segment also purchases potassium chloride and sells as a finished product. The Specialty Fertilizer segment produces and markets sulphate of potash crop nutrients and industrial grade sulfate of potash for use in the production of specialty fertilizers for vegetables, fruits, potatoes, nuts, tobacco, and turf grass. The company also produces and markets consumer deicing and water conditioning products, ingredients used in consumer and commercial food preparation, and other mineral-based products for consumer, agricultural, and industrial applications. In ad dition, Compass Minerals provides records management services to businesses located in the U.K. The company operates rock salt mines in Goderich, Ontario, Canada; and Winsford, Chesire, the United Kingdom. It primarily serves producers of intermediate chemical products used in the production of vinyls and other chemicals, and pulp and paper, as well as water treatment and other industrial uses. The company markets its products through direct sales personnel, contract personnel, and a network of brokers or manufacturers? representatives. Compass Minerals International, Inc., formerly known as Salt Holdings Corporation, was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.
- [By Brendan Mathews]
Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP ) is a sleepy producer of a boring product: rock salt. But it has a strong competitive advantage. It owns the world’s largest rock salt mine, which luckily is conveniently located near the major deicing markets of the Great Lakes region. This combination of a great mining resource and ideal location provide the company with a wide, crocodile-filled competitive moat.
- [By Alex Planes]
PotashCorp’s difficulty sustaining its pricing power is underscored by recent reports from sulfate of potash (SOP) producer Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP ) , which charged a hefty premium of almost $300 per ton against Potash Corp’s prices for muriate of potash. Efforts to move away from SOP sales seem to be the right choice — PotashCorp peer Intrepid Potash’s SOP sales fell by 37%, while the average price received has slumped nearly 14% in the last quarter. Even ore miner BHP Billiton has recently jumped into the fertilizer industry with a $2.6 billion build-out of a potash mine in Canada, which is all but certain to produce further downward pressure on potash prices.
10 Best Cheap Stocks To Watch Right Now: AeroVironment Inc.(AVAV)
AeroVironment, Inc. designs, develops, produces, and supports unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and efficient energy systems for various industries and governmental agencies. Its UAS provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, including real-time tactical reconnaissance, tracking, combat assessment, and geographic data to the small tactical unit or individual war fighter. The UAS wirelessly transmit critical live video and other information generated by their payload of electro-optical or infrared sensors directly to a hand-held ground control system, enabling the operator to view and capture images during the day or at night on a hand-held ground control unit. AeroVironment also provides spare equipment, alternative payload modules, batteries, chargers, repair services, and customer support for the UAS. In addition, the company produces industrial productivity and clean transportation solutions for commercial and government customers, develops potential clean t ransportation solutions, and performs contract engineering services; offers PosiCharge electric vehicle charging systems for industrial electric material handling fleets, electric vehicle charging systems for passenger and fleet vehicles, and power cycling and test systems for developers and manufacturers of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as battery packs, electric motors, and fuel cells; and supplies power cycling and test systems to research and development organizations that focus on developing electric propulsion systems, electric generation systems, and electricity storage systems. It supplies its UAS primarily to the organizations within the United States department of defense. AeroVironment, Inc. was incorporated in 1971 and is headquartered in Monrovia, California.
- [By Jake L’Ecuyer]
AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV) was also up, gaining 19.50 percent to $37.92 after the company reported upbeat Q3 earnings.
Equities Trading DOWN
Shares of XOMA (NASDAQ: XOMA) were down 27.54 percent to $6.84 after the company reported Q4 results and provided anupdate on its gevokizumab development program. Credit Suisse downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral.
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]
AeroVironment Inc.’s(AVAV) fiscal third-quarter profit nearly tripled as the pilotless-drones maker reported a sharp jump in revenue and booked a gain on an investment. Adjusted profit and revenue results for the latest quarter easily exceeded Wall Street’s expectations. Shares climbed 10% to $34.90 in light premarket trading.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
AeroVironment Inc.’s(AVAV) fiscal second-quarter profit fell 81% on a sharp decline in revenue and margins. However, shares were up 4.4% at $28.10 in premarket trading as the maker of pilotless drones and rechargeable-batteries reported adjusted earnings and revenue that topped expectations.
- [By Rich Smith]
AlamyA US Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System aircraft is towed into the hanger bay aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush — the first aircraft carrier to successfully catapult launch an unmanned aircraft from its flight deck. With a fiscal 2013 defense budget of nearly $614 billion, the United States is widely known to be a big spender on defense. By some estimates, U.S. defense spending accounts for nearly 60 percent of the $1.19 trillion the top 10 military powers spent on defense in 2011. In fact, our country allocates more than five times more money to defense than does its closest spending rival, China. And that’s not the half of it. In the cutting-edge field of military unmanned aerial vehicles, the United States has such a huge lead over its rivals that it makes their combined UAV fleets look like a rounding error in a world that’s essentially 100 percent dominated by U.S. drones. Pax Americana As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, the U.S. military commands a fleet of 429 “large drone” aircraft such as the General Atomics Predator and Northrop Grumman (NOC) Global Hawk. Meanwhile, America’s smaller drones, built by everyone from Boeing (BA) to Textron (TXT) to tiny AeroVironment (AVAV), maker of the ubiquitous Raven man-portable UAV, number in the thousands. In contrast, the military of the United Kingdom, not even a U.S. rival but a close ally, boasts a fleet of precisely 10 large drones, most of which we built for them, and the rest imported from Israel. Italy has nine, France, four, and Germany has three. As a result, when allied forces need a drone to “put eyes” on a target, more often than not, they have to ring up the U.S. military to get one. Who You Gonna Call? For allied nations, that has to be embarrassing — but it’s a situation unlikely to change soon. As the Journal reports, European defense giant European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADSY), the parent company of Airbus, is only just now beginning to test a