Despite a surge in NVIDIA Corp.’s (NVDA) stock price this year, SunTrust Humphrey thinks there’s room for more upside all because of the innovative nature of the graphics chipmaker.
In a research report, analyst William Stein said he raised his investment rating on the stock to buy from hold, and upped his price target to $177 from $124, arguing NVIDIA’s push into artificial intelligence (AI) is lost on Wall Street.
"While we have been keenly aware of [NVIDIA's] growth opportunities in the datacenter, gaming and automotive end markets in the year since we launched coverage, we've under-forecasted the growth potential in these markets," Stein wrote in a note to clients covered by Marketwatch. "We believe there are still aspects of the company we think are under-appreciated.” At $177 a share, the analyst is predicting the stock could gain an additional 9%. Recently shares were up 4% or $6.30 a share to $162.18, putting it on the path to have the sixth straight day of gains. NVIDIA’s stock is up close to 60% since the start of the year.
Profiting From Cryptocurrency
Stein expects the chipmaker to continually report upside to earnings and revenue thanks in large part to AI in the data center. While the analyst is late to the NVIDIA bull party, he said he doesn’t think he is too late. According to Marketwatch, Stein had a hold rating on NVIDIA since he started coverage in September 2016. (See also: NVIDIA Is Too Risky at This Price Target.)
With shares of the graphics chipmaker surging this year, analysts have been making all sorts of calls on the future prospects for the company with bulls coming out strong in recent weeks. Take Pacific Crest Securities, which downgraded the stock a couple of months ago but reversed course in late June and raised its rating to sector weight from underweight because of the role of the company's graphic chips in Bitcoin mining. "Meetings with desktop graphics card manufacturers indicated a sharp reversal in sales trends expected for the seasonally weaker 2Q, with surging demand from cryptocurrency miners in China and Eastern Europe," analyst Michael McConnell wrote in a research note to clients in June. "The sharp increase in demand from cryptocurrency miners has rapidly depleted excess channel inventory carried into the quarter."
While NVIDIA is known mainly for being a graphics chipmaker for the PC market, it has been branching into new areas with AI as one its main focuses. Not only has it been working on the technology in-house, but it has also been investing in startups in that area. It recently participated in a round of fundraising for Element AI, the Canadian startup that developed a platform to help companies of all sizes build artificial intelligence into their businesses. The firm raised $102 million. (See also: Microsoft, Intel, NVIDIA Invest in Element AI.)