Pace Had a Big Year

Pace is starting off 2014 with word that that it had a pretty good 2013.

Shares in the U.K.-based set-top company rose 3% Thursday after announcing it expected to beat earlier guidance for 2013. On the revenue side, Pace said revenues for full-year 2013 will reach $2.46 billion, up 2.4% versus the $2.4 billion generated in 2012, while earnings will beat 2012’s totals by 20%.

The company, a key supplier for Comcast's IP-capable X1 platform, also expects to drive free cash flow in excess of $200 million in 2013, compared to $182.7 million in 2012.

Pace attributed to improved guidance to the execution of its plan to maintain its leadership in set-top boxes while broadening its software, services and integration business.

This year, Pace is expanding into the cable and telco access network market via its $310 million acquisition of Aurora Networks. That deal, which will help Pace stay competitive with Arris Group and Cisco Systems – suppliers with set-tops and network infrastructure in their portfolios, closed on January 6.  Aurora will continue to be run by its original senior management team, and operate as a strategic business unit of Pace.

"Pace has performed above expectations in 2013. We continue to lead the market in innovation with great products and services, demand from our customers has remained strong and we continue to win new business,” said Pace CEO Mike Pulli, in a statement. “The Company has made further good progress in the execution of our Strategic Plan and Pace continues to become a more profitable and cash generative company.”

He said the Aurora Networks acquisition “will strengthen Pace's position as a market leading solutions provider for the PayTV and broadband industries.”

Pace will announce preliminary full-year 2013 results on March 4.