Thursday, October 20, 2011

Diary: PIC

PIC: Pace - Tech Hardware and Equip - 80p/244m
Serial disappointer PIC disappoints again in a year in which it can do no right. In an RNS today, it announced:

Following the recent announcement by Western Digital Corporation that it has suspended production of hard disk drives at its manufacturing facilities in Thailand as a result of severe flooding, Pace has completed an initial assessment of the potential impact on its 2011 business. Because Western Digital is the major supplier of hard disk drives to Pace, this will negatively impact expected shipments of products with hard disk drives from this supplier during the remainder of this year. Pace estimates the worst case impact on 2011 operating profit to be $9.5m, before taking account of possible mitigating actions.  As a result, Pace's operating profit for 2011 is now likely to fall below previous guidance of $150m-$170m.
 The news sent the share price tumbling 13%. That puts in a PER of less than 4. Its gearing is 73%, which is discomforting. I wouldn't want trading prospects to deteriorate - although that worry doesn't seem on the cards at the moment. I noticed that the shares hadn't been rising and falling in line with the broader market lately, which suggests to me that the smart money had pretty much pegged the situation from the outset. If you believe that current conditions are temporary - and they seem to appear that way to me - then we could well look back in a few years time and see 2011 as an obvious buying point in retrospect. I have been hideously wrong at every stage on this share over this year, though, so caveat emptor. I continue to hold.

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