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As Sony, Panasonic Begin to Rise, TV Sales Decline

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Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Panasonic (NYSE: PC) are among many electronics manufacturers that rely heavily on television sales to boost their bottom lines. This has proved to be particularly challenging for Sony, which has faced declining TV sales and wide-scale layoffs that could impact as many as 10,000 employees.

Now it seems that things are about to get a lot worse -- and not just for Sony, but for all TV manufacturers.

According to CNNMoney, LCD TV shipments have declined worldwide for the first time in history. This revelation comes from an NPD DisplaySearch report, which revealed that shipments of LCD televisions dropped 3% to 43 million units in the first quarter.

This decline comes less than two years after TV manufacturers made a big push for 3D televisions, a strategy that has proven successful overseas but not in the United States.

Earlier this year, Samsung, the world's leader in TV sales, announced a new slate of smart TVs that feature apps, motion control, and voice recognition -- all of the things consumers and analysts expect to see in Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) upcoming television.

Over the past few trading days, both Sony and Panasonic shares have been climbing. On June 4, Panasonic closed at $6.37. The company has been rising steadily in the days since, closing yesterday, June 21, at $7.60.

Sony's journey has been a bit of a roller coaster. But despite a few dips, the company is still up for the month of June, closing yesterday at $13.97.

That said, it could be difficult for Sony and Panasonic to sustain their increases.

"When the penetration reaches pretty high levels and there isn't a super compelling reason to go out and upgrade a recently purchased TV," Paul Gagnon, a TV analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, told CNNMoney. "It leads to these soft spots, especially with the global economy being as weak as it is right now. People are just more conservative in their shopping behavior and they don't really see reason to go out and upgrade their TVs."

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Panasonic SonyNews Tech Best of Benzinga


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