Investing in drones on the stock market

Thinking of investing in drone technology?

Should be a bummer for you then, that you cannot buy shares for DJI at any stock exchange whatsoever.

But there are drone companies with a presence on the stock markets worldwide, and – with the way drone technology is gaining traction in various industrial and public service applications – your money is better off being invested in one of the drone companies, while they are still affordably cheap.

The experts at Drone Industry Insights have some good information on profitable drone stocks below.

Unfortunately for many drone enthusiasts, there is no such thing as a DJI drone stock or Skydio stock. Fortunately, however, there are still several commercial drone stocks encompassing various industry segments. We previously addressed this topic of stocks in a blog post from 2021, and we figured it’s time for an update by diving deeper into the topic. Although most of these drone shares prices are under US$10, the companies offering them are still quite successful and have a bright future ahead.

It is worth noting that this is not an article about drone/UAV stock predictions. The goal here is to categorize and highlight the most active commercial drone stocks, therefore we have removed some companies that also offer stocks but are largely inactive. Given the constantly-changing nature of stocks, the listed drone shares price was recorded on a Saturday morning when financial markets were closed in all global regions.

Passenger Drone Stocks

Throughout 2021, passenger drone companies received a lot of attention; which got reflected not only in investment sums, but also in stock markets. There are now six passenger drone companies listed in three different stock markets [though Astro Aerospace (OTC: ASDN) is not included in our infographic]. Most of these are located in the USA (three), while two are in Europe and one is in Asia/China. And just about all of them have a market cap of over US$700M. At the time of writing, 4 of these companies have a market cap of over one billion, but we can expect a lot of changes to this until their products enter the market, ideally around the year 2024.

The three commercial drone stocks with the highest price (EhangVertical Aerospace and Joby) have also experienced the highest volatility given their 52-week range. Given their high market cap and the fact that only Ehang has been in the stock market for more than a year, it will be interesting to follow how their prices continue to fluctuate in the coming year.

It is also worth mentioning two companies that are connected with passenger drones and might also be worth keeping an eye on. These companies are Eve Air Mobility (NYSE: EVEX) whose commercial drone stock will begin trading in Q2 of 2022 as well as helicopter service provider Blade Urban Air Mobility (NASDAQ: BLDE) which is already listed in stock markets and aims to get more involved with electric air taxi flights.

Hardware/Software Commercial Drone Stocks

Most of the companies in this category produce both hardware as well as the software for it. Geographically, these drone companies are very evenly spread, with two in North America, two in Europe, two in Asia/Oceania and one in the Middle East. The two companies with the highest market cap and drone shares price (AeroVironment and ACSL) are also the ones whose price has varied the most over the past 52 weeks.

Draganfly provides everything from hardware, software, services and logistic support.

Another one of the more historic companies on the list, Parrot SA made a decision last year to focus its resources on quadcopter microdrones and image metrics and analytics software.

Meanwhile, Airobotics provides a drone-in-a-box solution that is intended as an end-to-end, fully automatic solution for inspections, mapping, and other imaging tasks. It recently announced that it was proceeding towards type certification of its automated drone.

Lastly, DroneShield is the primary counter-drone solution on this list and recently strengthened its relationship with Thales and achieved SAPIENT compliance in the United Kingdom.

Drone Delivery Stocks and Other Services

Although there are companies such as Amazon who have tested drone deliveries and are listed in financial markets, these are not true “drone delivery stocks”. Our focus here is to categorize the best commercial drone stocks, and many of the top drone delivery companies unfortunately don’t offer stocks. This means that until there is a Zipline or Swoop Aero, we cannot write an article exclusively focused on delivery drone stock.

Those who are primarily interested in drone delivery stock can consider Drone Delivery Canada. The company focuses on cargo logistics, but is also involved with deliveries in healthcare, commerce and other industries and was recently approved for delivery of “dangerous goods”. Similarly, in Europe, there is Nordic Unmanned, which is active in 13+ European countries and provides cargo and maritime delivery, as well as security operations and infrastructure inspections (among other services). It recently chose the UAS Denmark Test Center as its future base for developing and training pilots.

More generically in terms of services, there is AgEagle in Kansas, USA, which provides hardware, sensors, software and services. The company started off with an Agriculture focus, and after acquisitions of senseFly, MicaSense and Measure, it now also covers the energy, construction, and government industry verticals. Its subsidiary senseFly was recently selected as a Blue UAS Approved Drone by the US Department of Defense.

Other service companies offering commercial drone stocks are Volatus Aerospace (providing inspections and imaging, training, cargo delivery, security services, as well as hardware/software) and Elsight (supplying BVLOS connectivity for drones).

Finally, another company offering commercial drone stocks which is s a bit harder to categorize is Red Cat Holdings. As a holding company, Red Cat does not directly provide hardware, software, or services and instead controls stock of other drone companies (namely: Drone BoxRotor RiotSkypersonicFat Shark and Teal Drones). A similar company in this category is ONDAS Holdings. Though their portfolio is less drone-exclusive, it recently acquired Ardenna to enhance its offering for drone inspections in the rail industry.

Bottomline: The Growth of Commercial Drone Stocks

So; what are top drone stocks to invest in?

Given the number of companies and their unique specializations, there is no objective answer to this question, nor would it be defined by stock prices. Looking at the market capitalization (which many investors care about, though it differs from company evaluation), we find five companies with a value over US$1billion: AeroVironment, Joby, Vertical Aerospace, Archer Aviation and Lilium.

Moreover, there are an additional seven companies with a market cap of over US$100M: Ehang, ACSL, Parrot, AgEagle, Drone Delivery Canada, ONDAS and Red Cat. Although all of these companies still rank under small-cap by general investment standards, this is nevertheless a substantial amount of capital for a niche and booming industry.

If we look at companies whose current stock price is over US$10 we find: AeroVironment, ACSL, and Ehang. Furthermore, seven commercial drone stocks have varied by more than US$10 between their high and low over the past year. In other words, ten US dollars can still get an investor into the drone market at a time before several new regulations kick in and the industry becomes much more active.

Drone share prices are not very high yet and that makes them more affordable for anyone interested in drone technology. Once necessary regulations take effect and more BVLOS operations start happening, we are likely to see exponentially more activity in the drone space in terms of companies going public and their stock prices rising.

In conclusion, considering the high potential and maturing market for drone technology, it is understandable that several investors are eager to invest in a DJI drone stock or looking forward to a potential Skydio IPO.

However, even if these companies do not decide to go public, investors still have several commercial drone stocks to choose from. Though we would rather not provide drone/UAV stock predictions at this time, this categorized list of commercial drone stocks should be helpful for those hoping to discover, keep track of or invest in drone technology.

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