Topical wish list

Analysts weigh stocks of Santa's elves

Visions of electronic gadgets are dancing in the heads of the analysts at Canaccord Adams.

The research firm's technology, software and digital media group recently issued its Holiday Gift Guide, recommending not just presents but — where applicable — the stocks that should benefit from brisk sales of such products. Here's a sampling:

The Sonos Digital Music System is No. 1 on the list. It's a $999 wireless music system that plays all your digitally stored music throughout the house, including the ability for choosing different playlists in different rooms, all controlled via a super-elegant remote control.

Sonos is a private company, but it has a relationship with RealNetworks whereby subscribers to that company's Rhapsody subscription music service can play millions of songs through their Sonos units. Canaccord Adams rates RealNetworks shares a "buy."

Video software company DivX is represented twice on the analysts' list, once when recommending as a gift the Xbox 360 Elite and once when recommending the Pioneer Elite DV-48AV DVD player, both featuring DivX technology.

Concerning the latter, Canaccord Adams cautions that it's too early to try and guess the outcome of Hollywood's format war between HD DVD and Blu-ray, so consumers should opt instead for an upscale player that supports the current generation of DVDs, like the $230 Pioneer unit recommended.

Canaccord Adams says DivX stock is a "buy" and it's included on the firm's Best Idea list.

The analysts also like the Logitech Harmony, a remote control that will operate several devices more intuitively than similar products that make the same claim.

With the Harmony, users tap the Internet to enter model numbers of the equipment the device will control, then click on buttons marked "Watch TV," "Watch DVD," "Listen to Radio," etc. One model comes with the capability to shoot signals through doors and walls.

The $180 Harmony incorporates technology from Universal Electronics, a stock the analysts rate a "buy."

Canaccord Adams also likes the Denon AVR 2808CI, which it calls "a high-quality receiver chock full of features, including support for the next-generation audio formats from Dolby and DTS that are incorporated into HD DVD and Blu-ray."

But while the analysts rate Dolby shares a "buy" and call them a "Best Idea," they only rate DTS shares a "hold."
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