AeroVironment says DOJ probes its billing Defense contractor AeroVironment Inc.

The Associated Press
MONROVIA, Calif. —
Defense contractor AeroVironment Inc. said Friday that the Justice Department is investigating its billing practices.

The company, which designs and produces unmanned aircraft systems for the military, said that investigators from the agency’s civil fraud section are looking at billing rates for maintenance work and time and materials on government contracts. The probe also focuses on expenses from 2006.

AeroVironment said in a statement that it is voluntarily cooperating with the investigation, but that it believes there will be no material impact on its business. The company said the Defense Contract Audit Agency looked into its billing practices in February and deemed them adequate.

The company also said it has not been barred from government contracts due to the action.

AeroVironment shares tumbled $1.83, or 7.9 percent, to close at $21.43. After the stock market’s close Thursday, the company issued a weak outlook for fiscal 2011.