Brian.oco 0 Posting Whiz

I've been focusing on consumer electronics a great deal in the past few months; partly because that's where so much of the action is and partly because American consumers have ignored the economic naysayers and have continued to shop and buy cell phones, PDA's, HD televisions, and satellite radios, among other goodies.

I know it's barely Halloween but, looking two months ahead, the evidence is mounting that it should be a banner season for high tech consumer toys for the holiday shopping season -- and that should mean better performance for companies like Apple, Verizon, AT & T, and Sony, among others.

The latest proof comes from a study done by the Consumer Electronics Association. Its latest annual holiday buyers survey shows that consumer electronics products should "dominate the holiday wish lists of adults and teens, and will generate $48.1 billion in fourth quarter sales".

“Consumer electronics will be the shining star of holiday retail sales, accounting for 22 percent of all gifts given,” says CEA Economist Shawn DuBravac. “Two of the top five items on adults’ holiday wish lists are consumer electronics, and four of the top five items on the teen list are CE devices, so today’s hottest technologies will be on every holiday shopper’s mind. Holiday sales will be particularly jolly for the video game category (hardware and software), laptop computers and the endless array of accessories available for your favorite product.”

The top five wish list items for all adult survey respondents: computers, peace and happiness, big screen TV, clothes and money. Notably, the big screen TV moved up in the 2007 survey to number three from 11th in 2006. The teen list remained unchanged: clothes, MP3 player, video games, computer and cell phone.

“While overall holiday spending will increase, we found consumers are cutting back on decorations, home purchases and travel, but not gifts, especially electronics. The average CE gift giver will spend $358 on those gifts this season,” adds DuBravac.

CEA forecasts $22.1 billion will be spent on holiday CE gifts this year, which represents 46 percent of total fourth quarter revenue for consumer electronics. Total fourth quarter sales will reach $48.1 billion – a seven-percent increase from $44.8 billion in 2006.

The survey also tracked specific consumer electronics consumers hope to receive. The top five CE gifts adults wish for are MP3 players, notebook/laptops, video game systems, digital cameras and any type of TV. For teens, MP3 players, digital cameras, notebook/laptops, computers and any type of TV round out the top five items on their wish list.

Leading the “planned gift” list this year – a list of the CE products respondents intend to purchase for someone else -- are video game systems, additional memory for cameras, MP3 players, DVD players and digital cameras.

Any parent with a teenager knows how hot some of these sectors are right now. Video games have made Sony and Nintendo good stock opportunities. But adult "toys", like smart phones and digital cameras should sell like hot cakes, too.

All the more reason to consider the big consumer electronic stocks for your holiday portfolio stocking.

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