Flying High with Drone Stocks - Drone Market Continues to Grow from Commercial to Military
Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC - November 4, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering drone and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) stocks releases a sector snapshot reporting on the growth in the drone technology market from commercial to military and how UAV leaders like Draganfly Inc., (CSE: DFLY) are flying high with the drone revolution.
How big is the opportunity? According to PwC's study on the commercial applications of drone technology, the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127 bn. Experts are predicting a sky full of drones for delivery services in the future as Amazon, CVS and other pharmacies ramp up their programs.
Drone stocks are being watched by astute investors, and IBD recently issued an analysis of the top drone stocks across the industry from defense to commercial, based on IBD Composite Ratings. According to the October article, "Drone stocks saw a major milestone recently. In early October, UPS received FAA approval to operate drones and made a delivery that marked the first revenue-generating flight that went beyond line of sight."
New to investors following the space is Saskatoon based Draganfly Inc. (CSE: DFLY), a creator of quality, cutting-edge, unmanned vehicle systems and software. Draganfly is making its debut in public markets and commenced trading on the CSE today, November 5th, 2019.
According to the Company, "Direct sales efforts are focused in Public Safety/Paramilitary (law enforcement & security) organizations but Draganflyers are also sold to Commercial Surveying and Commercial Mapping organizations. Additionally, we have been asked to develop products and services in Agriculture, Media and Broadcasting, Infrastructure, and Industrial applications."
Although Draganfly is new to public markets, it has a long history in the sector. Draganfly is a twenty year old world leader in the UAV market and brings with it a legacy of ‘firsts' including:
- first public safety UAV to shoot aerial photos documenting a manned aircraft accident in an urban area
- first UAV operated by a public safety organization flown at night to locate and save a life
- first UAV helicopter to be granted a county wide U.S. FAA COA
- and recently named as a test platform at one of the U.S. FAA's certified test sites
Announcing the listing, Cameron Chell, Chairman and CEO stated "Draganfly is the world's oldest operating drone company and one of the early developers of the quadcopter. Draganfly today remains a leading drone solutions innovator and with the definitive government and industry shift to utilize North American unmanned vehicle systems and software, Draganfly is in the right place at the right time to establish itself as the cornerstone North American industry player."
From the news: With the completion of a $7 million equity raise, the company is in a strong working capital position to execute its business plan and is well positioned to pursue further opportunities in the drone sector. The Company's products are 100% manufactured in North America, with more than 9,000 drones sold, and with 18 patents in its portfolio and 6 more pending in the application stage, the Company has one of the most significant portfolios of intellectual property in the sector and will continue to expand its intellectual property docket.
Founded in 1998, Draganfly is recognized as one of the first commercial multi-rotor manufacturers and has a legacy for its innovation and superior customer service. Draganfly has sold products and services to over 50 countries. To date, Draganfly, has sold over 9,000 of its drones for multitudes of applications around the world. Zenon Dragan is the founder of Draganfly, and is a recognized leading expert on UAVs. Draganfly is positioning itself as an integrated solutions provider to the UAV industry.
Draganfly introduced its first systems in 1999 and has since evolved and shaped the UAV industry. The company's aircrafts are widely used by public safety agencies worldwide and were one of the first UAVs to receive a Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") Certificate of Approval the fall of 2009 with the Mesa County Colorado Sheriff's Office. In 2012, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ("RCMP") flew one of the company's drones to locate and save the life of an accident victim. The RCMP system is on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Watch the Draganfly video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUFlpWkoDik&feature=youtu.be
Another relatively smaller player in the mix with some of the giants in the sector is Toronto based Drone Delivery Canada Corp. (TSXV: FLT) (OTC: TAKOF), a drone technology company focused on the design, development and implementation of its proprietary logistics software platform using drones.
The Company recently announced that with the assistance of its sales agent, Air Canada, DDC has entered into a commercial agreement dated October 28, 2019 with the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority ("ERAA"), operating Edmonton International Airport ("EIA") and Villeneuve Airport for the purpose of establishing the world's first airport drone delivery hub, at Edmonton International Airport using DDC's proprietary drone delivery platform.
DDC and ERAA will build out flight routes from EIA using DDC's DroneSpot takeoff and landing zones utilizing DDC's drone flight infrastructure. Leveraging ERAA's expertise in airport operations, DDC and ERAA will implement, promote and market DDC's drone delivery services in this controlled airspace to a multitude of new and existing customers. All operations will be conducted in accordance with the Canadian Aviation Regulations and Transport Canada flight authorizations and shall be subject to DDC obtaining all required regulatory approvals.
"With ERAA, we will develop a drone logistics network centered at this world-class airport as a hub for numerous drone routes for our customers. We will continue to work with ERAA and Transport Canada to define particular routes, and with ERAA and Air Canada to negotiate revenue metrics and other commercial terms, to be announced in future press releases. Given the potential size and scope of this disruptive offering, revenue outlook could be significant while concurrently bringing tremendous logistical benefits to the region", said Michael Zahra, President & CEO of DDC. "To all our stakeholders, I am pleased to report that we will be working closely with EIA to further our current expertise in operating at a major airport in controlled airspace to monetize similar opportunities globally."
The initial term of the agreement is five years with additional successive one-year terms to follow unless the Agreement is formally terminated.
"EIA is proud to partner with industry leader DDC to establish Canada's first airport drone delivery site and drastically modernize cargo logistics and supply chain solutions. Together with our long-standing partnership with Air Canada, we look forward to expanding DDC's network of customers at EIA's Airport City, the Edmonton Metropolitan Region, and other strategic partners. DDC's DroneSpot at EIA elevates intermodal connectivity to support the growing E-Commerce, Pharmaceuticals, Courier and Oil & Gas sectors. Thanks to our partners like NAV Canada and Transport Canada, our airport is leading in embracing innovation," said Myron Keehn, EIA VP of Air Service and Commercial Development.
FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FLIR), a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of intelligent sensing technologies, recently announced their financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019.
Third quarter 2019 revenue was $471.2 million, 8.4% higher than third quarter 2018 revenue of $434.9 million. Organic revenue growth was 2.5%, which excludes revenue from acquisitions within the last twelve months. Third quarter total bookings increased 13.0% from the third quarter of 2018 to $495.3 million, driven primarily by a contract with a prime defense manufacturer in the Industrial Business Unit, along with numerous smart city and industrial wins in the Commercial and Industrial Business Units. At the end of the third quarter total 12-month current backlog stood at $668 million, an increase of 13.0% compared to the balance at the end of the third quarter 2018. Similarly, total backlog at the end of the third quarter increased 16.7% to $810 million over the same period.
The Commercial Business Unit revenues totaled $81.3 million, down 5.3% from the prior year. Revenues were adversely affected by foreign exchange effects as well as lower customer demand in the Maritime business primarily related to macroeconomic conditions. Partially offsetting this decline was strong growth in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) business. Third quarter operating income of $7.6 million and operating margin of 9.3% decreased 27.5% and 286 basis points year-over-year, respectively. This decrease was primarily driven by revenue declines in the Maritime and Outdoor and Tactical Systems (OTS) businesses due to weaker end-markets impacted by geopolitical and macroeconomic factors, as well as the impact from foreign currency exchange and U.S. import tariffs.
Commenting on FLIR's third quarter results, Jim Cannon, President and Chief Executive Officer said, "Overall, FLIR's third quarter results were somewhat mixed. I am pleased with the performance of the Government & Defense Business Unit, which delivered franchise program awards, solid organic revenue growth augmented by recent successful acquisitions, as well as improving organic operating margins. We also continue to build momentum in the Industrial Business Unit which generated strong bookings in the quarter along with expanding operating margins. However, several product lines within our Commercial Business Unit continue to face headwinds and some key end-markets served by the Commercial Business Unit were negatively impacted by geopolitical and macroeconomic factors. While consolidated earnings were in-line with our expectations and cash flow from operations was very strong, I am not satisfied with FLIR's third quarter revenue performance."
Mr. Cannon continued, "Based on our year-to-date results and outlook for the fourth quarter, we are slightly reducing full-year revenue expectations. However, year-to-date total bookings are up 13.5% and total backlog is up 16.7% from a year ago, bolstered by important franchise program wins, providing us with a long runway for growth. We remain very confident in our long term strategy and continue to believe that FLIR is poised to deliver profitable growth in the quarters and years ahead."
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), who recently announced their financial results for third quarter ended September 30, 2019, is becoming a potentially game changing player in the drone and delivery market.
"We are ramping up to make our 25th holiday season the best ever for Prime customers - with millions of products available for free one-day delivery," said Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos in a statement. "Customers love the transition of Prime from two days to one day - they've already ordered billions of items with free one-day delivery this year. It's a big investment, and it's the right long-term decision for customers. And although it's counterintuitive, the fastest delivery speeds generate the least carbon emissions because these products ship from fulfillment centers very close to the customer - it simply becomes impractical to use air or long ground routes. Huge thanks to all the teams helping deliver for customers this holiday."
A recent news article discussed Amazon's evolving drone/delivery plans stating, "The company announced earlier this year that it would start testing a shift from Prime two-day shipping to one-day shipping. That's on top of its existing services like Prime Now, which offers same-day shipping of certain products in certain markets, and Whole Foods grocery delivery, among many others spanning food and household item delivery. The company has also been aggressively building out its contract delivery service, Amazon Flex, and even started exploring robotic ground delivery. Drones for package delivery by air are also still in the works."
More and more consumers and businesses are becoming reliant on the unmanned vehicles sector for their delivery needs and as drone software and technology continues to improve and drop in cost, their seems to be little slowing for this segment. Just like the UPS delivery, the opportunities for the sector potentially are "beyond the line of sight."
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