NEW YORK, USA: S&P Equity Research is looking for slower growth in the technology sector in 2011, compared to 2010, but still believes the growth will be healthy. The S&P tech equity analysts and strategists have a positive fundamental outlook and overweight recommendation on the sector.
"We expect notable developments regarding new products, international activity, and M&A deals," said Scott Kessler, Information Technology analyst and tech sector group head at S&P Equity Research.
Following are select predictions for the tech sector from industry analysts at S&P Equity Research for 2011.
1. We think Intel will finally gain some traction in the handset and tablet markets.
2. We forecast that global solar system installations will increase at least 20 percent in 2011, well below our 2010 estimated growth rate of a two-fold increase.
3. We expect solar manufacturers that have a greater proportion of sales devoted to the US to outperform peers.
4. We project 2011 to show a continuation of the computer hardware recovery since the deep cyclical trough of 2009. We project global PC unit shipments to rise 14 percent in 2011, after an estimated rise of 17 percent for 2010.
5. Computer hardware should continue to make inroads into new markets such as self-serve kiosks in the transportation, healthcare and retail areas, based on an ongoing desire to automate transactions and offer consumers more ways to handle business.
6. We see the wide-spread emergence of visualization and cloud infrastructures requiring improved integration of datacenter switches and servers with more advanced delivery functionality. We believe companies with strong application delivery and WAN optimization capabilities, such as F5 Networks and Riverbed Technology will be attractive acquisition candidates for 2011.
7. We believe Microsoft will continue to lose market share in smartphones, as Windows Phone 7 fails to capture the interest of consumers.
8. We expect sales in the video game industry will be slightly up in 2011, after declining for the two prior years, driven by strong sales of Microsoft Kinect.
9. Consolidation in the data storage industry should continue in 2011, by our analysis, with most of the M&A activity being centered on storage software, as opposed to hardware.
10. We expect sales of tablet computers to surge and begin to cannibalize sales of netbooks and mini notebooks.
11. Despite having less functionality than tablet computers, sales of e-book readers will continue to surge in 2011, in our view. We see unit sales increasing from 7 million in 2010 to 11 million in 2011, led by Amazon.com's Kindle.
12. We expect to see at least one major strategic move from an IT services company that caters to the Department of Defense. Companies in this category include ManTech and SAIC.
13. Despite continuing revenue growth, the major India-based IT outsourcers, including Infosys and Wipro should experience margin declines in 2011.