Phones, PCs to drive tech rally into 2010
By Gabriel Madway - Analysis
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - As technology companies make their annual trek to Las Vegas to unveil their coolest gadgets at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, investors are laying bets on another good year for the industry.
The mood at CES 2010 should be far more buoyant than in early 2009, when the economy was deep in recession and financial markets reeled from the credit crisis.
Tech stocks have since recovered, with the Nasdaq Composite Index ending 2009 up more than 40 percent, near a 15-month high. Analysts say stronger corporate IT spending, an explosion of activity around smartphones and mobile computing, plus consolidation, should further bolster the sector in 2010.
Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall predicted a climb of roughly 15 percent in the Nasdaq in 2010, noting that some of the good news was already factored in to stock valuations.
"It's going to be tough to find areas that won't do well next year," Marshall said.
Topping the list for many sell-side analysts are perennial blue-chip favorites like Google Inc, Apple Inc, Cisco Systems Inc and Intel Corp.
But with economic recovery slowly taking root and companies starting to upgrade their IT systems again, analysts say 2010 will offer tech investors a wide range of opportunities.
Microsoft Corp's latest Windows 7 operating system should help spur sales of personal computers, with research group IDC forecasting double-digit PC shipment growth through 2013. Top PC makers Hewlett-Packard Co, Acer Inc and Dell Inc could be a way for investors to capitalize on that trend, analysts say. Continued...