Consumer Electronics Show: Stocks that Catch the Eye

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CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, is over for 2013. Another year past of gadgets, devices, gizmos and such, all designed to tempt people into spending money or making a statement about themselves. I'm sure it's a good, but exhausting, time for the attendees.

This year, though, there seems to be a belief that the idea is less about pitching big, game-changing items than about the smaller things that can catch the eye. With Apple and Google skipping out this year some of the media hype has gone away. Even if there are products out there that are interesting, it takes a more committed attendee to find them, since the big boys aren't shoving them right in people's faces.

Still, market-wise, if you pay attention to the press coverage of the event, you can find some interesting products that could be real movers. It's easy to say that the big boys are where to go, but with those firms staying away, there's a chance for the smaller (relatively) to shine and catch some attention. With attention comes, hopefully, publicity and thence sales. At least, that's the way it's supposed to work. No company should be dropping $100,000 on a booth without hoping to generate buzz, after all.

If a firm, smaller or larger, does catch the eye of the media, there's a solid chance it will see a spike in sales. That can lead to further visibility and an increase in market share. That's where investors come in. There are firms that are showing off products now that can be expected to grow quickly in the next year based on what happened over the last few days in Las Vegas. It's not a matter of getting in on the ground floor, if a firm is at CES that stage is past, but it could be matter of getting in while the getting is good.

Here's a few firms, large and small, that have caught my attention as I've been watching the coverage of CES this week:

LG (NYSE: LG): Not a small player, by any measure, LG seems to have caught people's eyes at the show with three products. The Korea-based electronics firm showed off a curving 55-inch television (among a lot of TV products on display this time), a self-cleaning oven and a square robotic vacuum that all look good and should, if there's any justice at all, do well for the firm. The firm's stock has climbed 2% over the course of the show and more than 20% in the last year.

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA): NVIDIA caught people's attention with the announcement with the firm's display of a combination tablet/console game/controller called 'Shield'. NVIDIA has long been involved in the video game market through its brand of graphics cards for personal computers, but moving into the game market itself is a bit of a surprise. The coverage I've seen makes the system look good. It's an Android-based platform that incorporates a lot of different tech-concepts in one location. The last week hasn't treated NVIDIA's stock very well, but it could go places if Shield captures some market share.

Netgear (NASDAQ: NTGR): Netgear surprised a few people by announcing a TV box that enabled Google TV. See? There's more than one way for the big boys to make an appearance. Anyway, the new system, called NeoTV Prime, is on the market now and isn't too expensive. The firm also announced that four of its products are now using Sling technology and can work with Slingbox for consumer's televisions. Netgear has put itself on the edge of the just-beginning streaming television revolution. That's not a bad place to be.

Those are three that caught my eye. It's an amazing world where firms like LG, NVIDIA and Netgear are considered to be smaller players. They aren't, of course, no one's saying that these firms are the classic 'two guys in a garage' sort of thing. However, anytime Apple, Google and Amazon stop drawing all the air out of the room, it leaves space for other firms, worthy firms, to make up some ground.

So go give those products a look. I think they're good, and therefore investment-worthy. If you want to get involved in the growing consumer electronics market, these three might well be worth consideration. They show potential for growth while being affordable investments. You could do much worse.

Follow me on Twitter! @natewooley

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Nate Wooley has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google, Netgear, and NVIDIA. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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