As governments around the world follow China, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) technology for massive surveillance infrastructure and real-time facial recognition, chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) is set to gain on an additional $5 billion sales opportunity by 2020, according to one team of bulls on the Street. (See also: Chip Stocks That Will Thrive on the AI Boom.)
In a note to clients Monday, analysts at UBS lifted their price target on NVDA stock from $266 to $285, reflecting an 8.4% upside from Monday morning, as reported by CNBC. Trading down about 0.9% at $262.94, NVIDIA shares have gained 36.1% year-to-date (YTD) and returned 73.4% over the most recent 12 months, compared to the S&P 500's 3.4% growth and 13.5% increase over the same respective periods.
UBS cited the Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor manufacturer's leadership in the machine learning chip and software markets. In particular, the analysts are upbeat on NVIDIA's Metropolis platform, which enables governments to use AI-powered software to analyze video feeds for traffic monitoring, law enforcement and public safety services.
Facial Recognition as a Growth Tailwind
"Our recent analysis of mass, real-time facial recognition in China, and its potential spread to other countries has uncovered a potential high-/mid-single digits growth tailwind for NVDA earnings," wrote UBS analyst Timothy Arcuri in a note titled "Deep Learning & Mass Surveillance: Tied at the Hip."
He expects rapid adoption of facial recognition in China to lead the way for similar initiatives by other governments worldwide. "Real-time facial recognition to identify jaywalkers is already deployed at many Shenzen intersections," wrote Arcuri. The UBS analyst, who maintains a buy rating on NVDA stock due to its valuation, estimates that the company already controls roughly 90% of the AI chip market. (See also: Goldman: Tech Regulation to Benefit NVIDIA, Cisco.)