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Wall Street Beat: Tech stocks hang on to gains despite mixed reports

Marc Ferranti | June 10, 2013
Buffeted by concerns about the economy and IT spending, tech stocks have gone on a roller coaster ride lately, but on the whole they've managed to hang on to gains they made earlier in the quarter.

On the positive side this week, as usual, were expectations for the tablet and smartphone markets.

Smartphone shipments are expected to grow 32.7 percent year over year in 2013, reaching 958.8 million units, according to a report by IDC. For the first time this year, smartphone shipments will surpass those of so-called feature phones, IDC said. Smartphones are expected to account for 52.2 percent of all mobile phone shipments worldwide.

IDC expects this trend to continue as demand for mobile data and handheld computing spreads across both developed and emerging markets.

Otherwise, a forecast for increasing tablets sales this year helps offset some of the drop in spending on PCs, according to JPMorgan's Moskowitz.

Tablet sales, combined with smartphone sales, have a synergistic effect that drives the software market as well, according to Ronan de Renesse, an analyst at Analysys Mason. In a blog post this week, Renesse said that smartphone users who also have a tablet spend three times as much on apps as those who only own smartphones.

Multidevice ownership is also known to drive mobile data spend, de Renesse wrote.

Looking further out ahead, most analysts forecast IT spending, even in hardware and components, to rise next year. The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) this week announced that it has endorsed the positive view of semiconductor sales given by the World Semiconductor Trade Statistics (WSTS) organization. The WSTS projects worldwide semiconductor sales to reach $297.8 billion in 2013, a 2.1 percent increase from 2012.

"With modest but steady gains in semiconductor sales in recent months and stronger growth projected for the remainder of this year and 2014, the global semiconductor industry is heading in the right direction as summer approaches, despite a stubbornly sluggish macroeconomic environment," said Brian Toohey, SIA CEO, in a report.

 

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