7 Stocks That Can Ride the AI Cloud Boom to New Heights – InvestorPlace

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An article in the Wall Street Journal from July 2023 indicated that the AI Cloud boom has created significant opportunities for multiple firms in their stocks. The thrust of the article was that Cloud providers largely remained incapable of supporting large AI applications. Even the hyper-scale firms that populate Silicon Valley and its equivalents globally were not considered ready.

The opportunity continues in 2024: Infrastructure wasn’t designed to run the large complex systems required in AI or to handle such complex calculations. In short, there is as big an opportunity today as there was when the Wall Street Journal ran that article nine months ago. 

The majority of the opportunity lies in North America where AI has grown quickest. However, the opportunity is global in scale. Let’s take a look at seven companies that are poised to continue to ride the AI Cloud boom to new heights.

Alibaba (BABA)

baba value stocks

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Let’s begin with Alibaba, (NYSE:BABA) a stock representing the Chinese firm and a market outside of North America. The Chinese market differs from the American market in material ways. That means AI applications also differ.

For example, one of the more prominent applications of AI that is positively affecting Alibaba is in relation to e-commerce. Firms throughout China tapped Alibaba’s large language model to substantially increase sales on the November 11 shopping event known as Single’s Day. 

Alibaba also cited strong results on Single’s Day in its earnings release from early February. And while those results were positive, Alibaba is also reflective of the broader Chinese economy which continues to face substantial issues. The result is that Alibaba’s revenues are essentially flat. Revenues increased by 5% during the period with Cloud revenues growing similarly at 3%. To be clear, that is not acceptable for the firm and led to substantial decreases in net income.

However, that is not the point here. Instead, the point is that Alibaba is among preeminent Cloud providers in China. That positions the company to rebound strongly and is one of the primary reasons that the stock has so much upside at the moment. One reason to believe in that narrative is simply that Alibaba has cut prices on its AI Cloud offering in an effort to spur demand.

Alphabet (GOOG,GOOGL)

Alphabet (GOOG,GOOGL) sign reading Google inside building

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Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG,GOOGL) still has a chance to ride the AI Cloud boom higher even though it continues to fumble the opportunity. The stock has dropped dramatically over the past month as the company continues to scramble to catch up. 

There is an ongoing arms race in the AI sector and Alphabet has been behind since day one. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) jumped far ahead of Alphabet in early 2023 when it announced its investment in ChatGPT. It really hasn’t relented since. That has left Google wondering what it can do and taking risks in order to make up ground. The results haven’t been very good frankly. The company is currently facing a firestorm over controversial AI generated images. That is only making its troubles worse. 

The sell-off is an opportunity. January earnings were stronger than expected and rate cuts later this year will propel Tech again into the limelight. Take the bad news as good news for contrarian investors and act. 

Alteryx (AYX)

The Alteryx (AYX) logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

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Alteryx (NYSE:AYX) isn’t a household stock name nor is it among the best known firms in relation to the AI cloud boom.  Instead, it is an analytics automation business with a legitimate chance to further establish itself with enterprise customers.That’s particularly important at the moment as many enterprise customers continue to question the value of their previous investments in the AI cloud.

Alteryx is investing in that opportunity. The company recently announced an expanded partnership with the Databricks Data Intelligence Platform. Those new integrations are expected to decrease the time for users to generate AI driven enterprise use cases. Such use cases are a major target area for AI cloud development; it will only increase the speed at which data is produced which will further increase the need for analytics with which to draw actionable insight.  

The expanded partnership has the potential to increase revenues at Alteryx which already was performing strongly. During 2023 sales increased by 13% at the company.

Palantir (PLTR)

Palantir logo on the smartphone and the company share price on the day of opening the trade October 1, 2020. Palantir valued at $15.8bn in stock market debut. PLTR stock

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Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) has gone from a company that is highly government-oriented to one that is more commercially oriented of late. The company is again leveraging its government connections and relationships, propelling its stock higher.

Palanitr first established a name as an analytics firm with a more conservative bent. It was highly connected to the government and the defense sector in particular. Then the company continued to grow and ultimately reached profitability which helped to catapult its stock much higher. A big part of that was its AI cloud offerings. 

It was suddenly a more commercially oriented firm. That’s where it stood when the company last released earnings in early February. Commercial revenues grew by 70% during the fourth quarter.  They were catching up to government revenues.

Government revenues are surging again though, as the company just landed a $178 million contract for the Army’s project Titan. It will leverage Palantir’s AI for its battlefield systems. That could propel Palantir stock higher again and is a reason to believe in its continued strength as the AI Cloud continues to develop. 

Nvidia (NVDA)

Nvidia logo seen on smartphone which is placed on pile of US dollar bills. Concept. Selective focus. Stocks to buy like Nvidia

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Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) is essentially a picks and shovels stock in relation to the AI cloud. The company’s graphics processing units (GPUs) have proven indispensable within the leading cloud companies that provide AI services broadly. 

Those GPUs are sold as stand-alone chips and are also sold in combination with a CPU, both of which are used to power the AI cloud. Those chips are known for their parallel processing capability and have been in use for AI for roughly a dozen years.

Again, it is Nvidia’s GPUs that are far and away in highest demand. That demand is producing incredible sales growth. Nvidia expects $24 billion in revenues in the current quarter. If it reaches that goal it would represent a tripling of sales over the same 12 months prior. 

Investor apprehension is logical given that Nvidia shares traded for roughly $150 in early 2023 and rose to more than $800 by early 2024. Yet, when one considers that revenues are probably going to triple this quarter it is also entirely logical that Nvidia shares are expected to rise as high as $1,400. 

AMD (AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) logo in the building at CNE in Toronto. AMD is an American semiconductor company.

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AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) represents Nvidia’s strongest competition. That is the clearest reason to buy the stock as AI cloud applications continue to develop.

While Nvidia clearly has the most in demand chips for AI application, their continued dominance isn’t assured. For one, buyers are very clearly seeking alternatives due to high prices for Nvidia chips. Both Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) and Microsoft recently stated that they would switch to AMD’s chips. It is very much worth noting that they buy roughly 60% of all of the chips that Nvidia sold recently. 

It remains clear that AMD will have legitimate opportunities to serve firms like Meta Platforms and Microsoft moving forward. That is a strong catalyst that has propelled AMD shares above $200 recently.

Meanwhile, AMD is also targeting the Chinese market which continues to face strong export restrictions from the United States. There is an opportunity there yet AMD will have to weaken the chips that it intends to sell in the country. 

Baidu (BIDU)

Laptop computer displaying logo of Baidu (BIDU), a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products

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Speaking of China, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is another stock to consider in connection to both the country and the ongoing AI cloud opportunity.

Baidu is analogous to the Google of China and provides many similar services. In other words, it is deeply connected to all things internet and artificial intelligence within the country. 

The good news is that Baidu has done better than some other large leading Chinese tech firms on a top line basis. In 2023, revenues grew by 9%. Alibaba, for example, as discussed above, saw its revenues increase by a more modest 5% during the same period. 

The company did not provide a strict break out of cloud AI revenues. However, it did mention that much of its growth during the period was attributable to Cloud AI investments. Baidu represents a contrarian investment that leverages the combined power of a Chinese economic rebound and Cloud AI investment. So, as with Alibaba, there is a lot of future potential in the stock.

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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