Drone Manufacturer Makes Bank on Ukraine War

Stock soars after Q1 profits report

While big name firms like Lockheed and Raytheon knock down the most money and get the most attention for supporting US military adventurism, new wars buoy smaller companies, especially those which find themselves on the leading edge of the latest killing technologies.

Such is the case with Aerovironment – a 52-year-old firm that’s become the US military’s top supplier of small drones, including Switchblade “kamikaze drones” ordered by the Pentagon to pass on to Ukraine for use in its war with Russia.

On Tuesday, Aerovironment reported a 40% revenue leap for the first quarter of 2023, knocking down $152.3 million versus analysts’ prediction of “only” $128.5 million. The company’s share price rocketed by 20% on Wednesday, putting the stock up by 34% year-to-date.

CEO Wahid Nawabi says the company currently provides no fewer than eight different drone systems to Ukraine, courtesy of US taxpayers.

According to Open Secrets, Aerovironment has spent about $230,000 so far this year on lobbying, and employs eight lobbyists to secure government arms contracts.