Would a Big Year for Smart TV Stocks Leave US Firms Behind?

James Dennin, Kapitall: TVs with internet are the hot item at the Consumer Electronics Show. Is a big year for smart TV stocks ahead?

Like personal computers, the makers of television sets had a difficult year in 2013. For one, there's the mounting excitement for mobile options, which make watching something on a TV set seem passé. And there's been limited innovation in recent years, aside from making TVs that are larger, flatter, and lighter.

Read more on Media from Kapitall: Why Netflix Won’t Replace TV Stocks and Take Over the World at $7.99 Per Month

That's set to change this year, at least as early reports from this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas seem to suggest.

Samsung (OTC:SSNLF), the world's largest maker of TVs, is bullish on smart TVs, and will devote 75% of production to them in 2014. With foreign firms like  Sony (SNE), LG (LPL), and Philips (PHG) moving aggressively into the space - and American firms like Intel (INTC) getting out – could companies at home be left in the dust? 

Probably not

While the biggest manufacturers of smart TVs are all located overseas, if there's another big trend at CES, it seems to be that hardware will serve software even more in the years to come. And there's no question that many American companies are already adapting. 

There's a lot of hardware produced by American firms that would turn older TVs into smart ones. And those tech stocks are finding new ways to keep their hardware competitive, often via new software. Since TVs are a household item that you don't really replace very often, this could be a huge asset.

That's the bet that Google (GOOG) made, by focusing on a low-cost adapter for analog TV sets called the Chromecast, and a new high-speed streaming service to compete with Netflix (NFLX).

Aside from streaming, the apps available on smart TVs can be extremely valuable as well. Apps that are available for a certain smart TV can be one of the major draws, as manufacturers learned with the steady rise to prominence of the Chromecast. A move to smart TVs could create pressure for firms like Time Warner (TWX) , whose HBO Go app is becoming a mainstay for new devices moving into the space, to broaden their offerings. 

Finally, there are firms that produce component parts for TVs, some of which are located in the US. Battered chip-maker NVIDIA (NVDA) is a leader in this space, recently announcing a new line of chips for 3D TVs, which would be among the best in the world. 

Will new software and hardware boost smart TV stocks, and your portfolio? We compiled a list of some of the stocks to watch in 2014. 

Click on the interactive chart below to view analyst ratings over time.

Do you see investing opportunities in smart TVs? Use the list below to begin your own analysis.

1. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV ( PHG): Engages in the healthcare, consumer lifestyle, and lighting product businesses worldwide. Market cap at $33.76B, most recent closing price at $36.54.
 

 

2. Google Inc. ( GOOG): The world's most popular search engine. Market cap at $370.70B, most recent closing price at $1105.00.
 

 

3. Sony Corporation ( SNE): Designs, develops, manufactures, and sells electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional, and industrial markets worldwide. Market cap at $18.00B, most recent closing price at $17.18.
 

 

4. Intel Corporation ( INTC): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of integrated circuits for computing and communications industries worldwide. Market cap at $126.93B, most recent closing price at $25.78.
 

 

5. Time Warner Inc. ( TWX): Operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $61.39B, most recent closing price at $68.67.
 

 

6. Apple Inc. ( AAPL): Designs, manufactures, and markets PCs, mobile devices, and portable digital music players, and sells related software, services, and third-party digital applications. Market cap at $488.26B, most recent closing price at $540.98.
 

 

7. Netflix, Inc. ( NFLX): Provides subscription based Internet services for TV shows and movies in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $21.18B, most recent closing price at $363.10.
 

 

8. NVIDIA Corporation ( NVDA): Provides visual computing, high performance computing, and mobile computing solutions that generate interactive graphics on various devices ranging from tablets and smart phones to notebooks and workstations. Market cap at $9.03B, most recent closing price at $15.67.

 

 

( List compiled by James Dennin, a Kapitall writer. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Invesment Research, all other data sourced from Finviz.)