After four profits warnings in a year, surely things cannot get much worse for Pace, 71.5p. On the plus side the company's disastrous year allows you to pick up the stock at less than half the price it was this time last year. Back then the Yorkshire-based set-top box maker was a stock market darling, and most of its underlying potential is still there (albeit a little more underlying). Pace makes set-top boxes for most of the world's biggest satellite and digital TV providers, including BT and Virgin Media. As TVs get cleverer (think HD, 3D etc) Pace can charge more for its boxes, and it has plans to help integrate TVs and other household items with the internet. Also history shows that consumer spending on pay-TV subscriptions actually increases in difficult times, so if Eurogeddon does happen Pace should be better placed than most as people would rather forgo nights out on the town than access to the Premier League or the latest movies. The analysts seem to have faith in new boss Mike Pulli, who, as president of Pace America ,expanded its US customer base.
As ever, journalists have a way of putting things more concisely than I ever seem to be able to manage. Gotta love the phrase "albeit a little more underlying". I hear that one!