Did Michael Bay Hurt or Help Samsung This Week?

The “Transformers” director walks off stage at CES, but Samsung’s opportunity in 4K television could still be huge.

Jan 9, 2014 at 6:07PM


Michael Bay went on TMZ to talk about his trouble at Samsung's CES keynote. Source: TMZ.

Do you remember what Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) announced during this week's Consumer Electronics Show? My guess is no, if only because I don't, and I was in the audience when film director Michael Bay tripped over his lines and walked off stage. What went wrong? Here's what Bay told TMZ:

Listen, It was a very human moment, OK? I've gone on stage a couple of hundred times in my life ... I was about to talk about some very technical jargon, and unfortunately, I jumped the line, which means I started first. It was one of those things where my line set his line up and vice versa.

So it was a mistake. One he apologized for on his blog, which means he now gets to go back to the business of finishing Transformers: Age of Extinction, which is due in theaters next June.

But what about Samsung? CES is as competitive a trade show as you'll find, and this year, the Korean electronics giant is facing formidable competition in several areas. For example, Toshiba unveiled a new $279 Chromebook -- remember when Samsung was the go-to Chromebook supplier? -- while Sony (NYSE:SNE) touted its new S series curved 4K television screens to compete with the 105-inch Ultra HD television Bay was supposed to promote onstage.

There's plenty at stake. Digital TV Research projects that smart TVs -- big screens connected to the Internet in some way -- will more than double over the next five years to at least 759 million units by 2018. Samsung, at 26%, according to Strategy Analytics, accounted for the largest share of the Smart TV market in last year's Q1. Hiring Bay to present its newest Ultra HD sets at CES was supposed to add momentum.

Alas, it didn't happen. But in the long run, I doubt it matters. The bigger concern is whether industry support for 4K will be enough to drive demand for Samsung's new TVs. So far, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) has said season 2 of House of Cards will be shot and streamed in 4K. Amazon.com, for its part, plans to shoot all its original shows in the format, while YouTube says it supports the format -- though we don't really know what that means in terms of its library.

Or to put it in terms Bay might be more comfortable with: As far as the development of this market goes, we're barely past the opening credits.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Netflix at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't 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.

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