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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Has Found a New AI Growth Catalyst

We recently published a list of the 8 Best AI PC Stocks to Buy Now. Since Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) ranks 1st on the list, it deserves a deeper look.

When the AI revolution began with the launch of ChatGPT, no one would have thought that down the road it would bring a huge growth catalyst for the PC industry, notorious for its cyclical nature and unpredictability. Fast forward to today, everyone is talking about PCs equipped with AI-focused equipment capable to process generative AI workloads. But in just a matter of few months why did the market feel the need for AI PCs? It all boils down to costs. GPT-4 costs $0.03 per 1,000 tokens for prompts and $0.06 for completion according to Microsoft’s estimates. Consider millions of users prompting LLMs from their phones and computers. The costs of scaling such systems are not feasible. That’s why the market thought allowing users to process AI-intensive workloads natively instead of using the Cloud is the future. And that caused the AI PC boom. Tech market analyst firm Canalys says AI PC shipments are expected to soar to 170 million in 2027, from 25 million in 2022. That would be a 60% share of the total PC market. The firm also expects AI PC shipments to double from 2023 to 2024 and double gain from 2024 to 2025.

Canalys also expects vendors to ship 205 million AI-capable PCs in 2028, representing a CAGR of 44% from 2024 through 2028.

For this article we scanned Insider Monkey’s database of 919 hedge funds and picked 8 AI PC stocks with the highest number of hedge fund investors. Why are we interested in the stocks that hedge funds pile into? The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter’s strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see more details here).

Is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) the Best AI PC Stock to Buy Now?
Is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) the Best AI PC Stock to Buy Now?

Pixabay/Public Domain

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Number of Hedge Fund Investors: 293

Satya Nadella’s plan to pack AI chips and AI-focused software into special PCs and label them as “AI PCs” was pure genius. Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) announcement of Copilo+PCs seems to have given the struggling PC industry a new life, with several traditional PC players riding the wave. But Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the best AI PC stock because of its moat in the enterprise software space which makes Microsoft Corporation’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) PCs a one-stop solution for anyone looking to own AI-powered machines for using AI-driven software.

Baron Fifth Avenue Growth Fund stated the following regarding Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in its first quarter 2024 investor letter:

“Our second largest purchase during the quarter was the software platform, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which we continued to add to, after initiating a position in the fourth quarter of 2023. Microsoft continues to report strong quarterly results, with revenue growth of 16% year-over-year in constant currency thanks to better-than-expected demand in its intelligent cloud segment, which saw revenue growth of 19% year-over-year, driven by Azure growth of 28% with AI contributing 6pts to growth compared with 3pts in the prior quarter. While the adoption of GenAI remains in its early stages, Microsoft has disclosed positive initial data points with 53,000 Azure AI customers as of its December quarter up from 18,000 in the prior quarter, 1.3 million paid GitHub Copilot subscribers (up 30% sequentially) and more than 230,000 organizations who have used AI capabilities in the power platform (up 80% sequentially). Management also noted that large cloud optimizations that started a year or so ago have largely finished. Profitability also continues to be strong with 44% non-GAAP operating margins, which was 120bps better than expected.”

Analysts believe Microsoft Corp’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) AI ecosystem around its products would strengthen its Cloud division thanks to the company’s integration of AI into its Cloud products. Microsoft Corp’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Intelligent Cloud segment’s profit in the latest quarter totaled $12.51 billion, a whopping 32% growth on a YoY basis.

Microsoft Corp’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) huge investments to revive its Search business are also working. Bing’s market share has jumped to 3.64% as of April 2024, a 0.88 points gain on a YoY basis.

Wall Street expects Microsoft Corp’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) earnings to grow 12.50% next year. Based on the growth catalysts mentioned above, the stock’s forward P/E of 31 based on 2025 EPS makes it look attractive at the current levels. Average analyst estimate for Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) is $483, which presents a 14% upside potential from the current levels.

Overall, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) ranks 1st on Insider Monkey’s list titled 8 Best AI PC Stocks to Buy Now. While we acknowledge the potential of meme stocks in a speculative market, our conviction lies in the belief that AI stocks hold greater promise for delivering higher returns, and doing so within a shorter timeframe. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

READ NEXT: Michael Burry Is Selling These Stocks and Jim Cramer is Recommending These Stocks.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.