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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Microsoft, NVIDIA, Twilio, Meta Platforms and Zscaler

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 15, 2024 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Microsoft MSFT, NVIDIA NVDA, Twilio TWLO, Meta Platforms META and Zscaler ZS.

Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

4 A.I. Stocks with Ample Growth Potential in 2024

The year 2024 has thus far proved to be a landmark for artificial intelligence (AI) stocks, propelled by the technology's rapid growth and accelerating adoption across myriad industries. From healthcare revolutionizing drug discovery and patient care to finance harnessing AI's predictive prowess to manufacturing and optimizing processes with machine learning, AI's disruptive influence cast a broad footprint.

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Per a Grand View Research report, the global artificial intelligence market size is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. It is projected to reach $1,811.8 billion by 2030.

Various companies are implementing AI-based solutions such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to enhance the process workflows to handle and automate repetitive tasks. AI-based solutions are also being coupled with IoT (Internet of Things) to provide robust results for various business processes.

The AI in hardware market is poised for remarkable expansion, projected to swell from $20.88 billion in 2023 to $25.96 billion in 2024, exhibiting an impressive 24.3% CAGR. This trajectory is anticipated to persist, with the market forecast to reach $58.61 billion by 2028, maintaining a robust 22.6% CAGR. Key trends expected to shape this period encompass the accelerated pace of urbanization, further dissemination of internet connectivity, the continued evolution of smart city infrastructures, a rising appetite for self-driving vehicles, and an intensifying need for cloud-based computing capabilities.

Generative AI and AI-related startups have attracted close to $50 billion in investments since 2023, affirming the growing interest in the technology and its applications. Microsoft invested close to $13 billion in OpenAI as it sought to gain a front seat in the startup's AI innovations. Anthropic is one of the startups that raised close to $2 billion from investors led by Google as it sought a valuation of close to $30 billion.

Gartner estimates 240 million GenAI smartphones and 54.5 million AI PCs will be shipped worldwide by the end of 2024, representing 22% of all PCs and basic and premium smartphones, respectively. PC shipments are also expected to grow 3.5% in 2024, while smartphone shipments are expected to grow 4.2%.

Amid the fervent AI boom, shareholders have been hunting for the pioneers and visionaries adept at monetizing AI's capabilities to deliver both ground-breaking innovation and substantial returns.

Our Top Picks

Here, we have picked four tech stocks, NVIDIA, Twilio, Meta Platforms and Zscaler, which, apart from boasting strong fundamentals, have a favorable combination of a Growth Score of A or B and a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy). Per Zacks’ proprietary methodology, stocks with such a perfect mix of elements offer solid investment opportunities. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

NVIDIA is a leader in AI technology, particularly in the development of GPUs used for machine learning and AI applications. With its continuous innovations in AI hardware and software, NVIDIA stands poised to benefit from the growing demand for AI-driven solutions across various sectors, including gaming, data centers, autonomous vehicles, and more. Last week, NVIDIA forged a partnership with Indonesia's telco firm PT Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison to build an artificial intelligence (AI) center in Central Java in 2024.

NVIDIA’s Blackwell platform promises to power a new era of computing by enabling organizations worldwide to build and deploy real-time generative AI models on an unprecedented scale. With a focus on efficiency, performance and scalability, Blackwell aims to address the evolving needs of industries ranging from data processing to generative AI. Manufactured using a custom-built 4NP TSMC process, Blackwell GPUs feature two-reticle limit GPU dies connected by a high-speed chip-to-chip link, enabling unprecedented computational power.

Nvidia sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for NVDA’s 2024 earnings has moved north by 2.6% to $23.72 per share in the past 60 days, which suggests year-over-year growth of 83.02%.

Twilio has enhanced its Flex platform with new features like Unified Profiles and Agent Copilot to improve customer support departments by boosting efficiency and productivity. Unified Profiles, powered by Twilio Segment, enables clients to access native data layers for personalized interactions. Agent Copilot uses this data, along with AI, to help employees automate tasks and work more efficiently. The new features will use AI to reduce costs associated with traditional engineering methods for merging and utilizing data.

The company has been rapidly expanding in the AI space through partnerships and product launches. Amazon and Twilio collaborated to enhance the latter’s platform with predictive AI technology. The two companies combined Amazon SageMaker technology and Twilio Segment’s Customer Data platform to enable TWLO’s clients to better understand their customers. Twilio, alongside Google Cloud, aimed to incorporate generative AI into its Flex and Customer Engagement platforms.

Twilio carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Growth Score of A. The consensus mark for the company’s 2024 earnings has been revised upward by 11.4% to $2.64 per share over the past 60 days, which indicates a 7.76% increase from 2023.

Zscaler, a pioneer in cloud security, has announced a groundbreaking advancement in AI innovations through its acquisition of Avalor. This move underscores ZS' commitment to fortifying its platform with cutting-edge capabilities. This collaboration empowers enterprises to automate AI-driven analytics and decision-making in real-time, streamlining reporting, incident mitigation and advanced threat detection within the Zscaler cloud security platform.

Zscaler Zero Trust SASE is the industry’s first single-vendor SASE solution, which is built on the company’s Zero Trust AI. It helps organizations cut down on costs and simplify security by implementing the Zero Trust measures for users, devices and workloads.

Zscaler carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Growth Score of A at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s fiscal 2024 earnings has been revised upward by 10.5% to $2.73 per share in the past 60 days, which calls for an increase of 52.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Meta Platforms is testing Meta AI, its large language model-powered chatbot, with WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger users in the United States, India and parts of Africa. The move signals how Meta plans to tap massive user bases across its various apps to scale its AI offerings.

Meta unveiled Meta AI, its general-purpose assistant, in late September. The AI chatbot is designed to answer user queries directly within chats, as well as offer them the ability to generate photorealistic images from text prompts. In collaboration with Microsoft, Meta unveiled the next generation of Large Language Model Meta AI (“Llama”), called Llama 2. The social media giant also released Code Llama, a large language model (LLM) that can use text prompts to generate and discuss code. The company confirmed earlier this week that it will be launching Llama 3, the next version of its open-source LLM, within the next month.

Meta Platforms currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 and has a Growth Score of B. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s 2024 earnings has been revised 1.1% upward to $20.03 per share in the past 60 days, which suggests year-over-year growth of 34.7%.

The potential growth in the AI sector is substantial, and these companies stand out for their innovative AI solutions, making them compelling choices for investors eyeing the burgeoning AI market in 2024. These companies represent a diverse range of AI applications, from hardware to software, and across various industries. The increasing integration of AI into everyday life, industries, and businesses positions these companies for potential growth in 2024 and beyond.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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