Stocks to buy

3 Stocks to Buy for Exposure to the Growing AI Chip Market

As Morgan Stanley noted recently, artificial intelligence is poised to improve (and, I believe, revolutionize) many fields from content creation to internet search to e-commerce. And the firm thinks that AI “could help tech companies tap some $6 trillion in offline spending.” Since AI systems are literally built with computers that are powered by chips, buying the best AI chip stocks is definitely a good way for investors to benefit from the proliferation of the technology.

Illustrating the extent to which chip makers’ financial results can be lifted by the tremendous growth of AI, Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) top AI chips are selling for a huge $40,000 apiece on eBay, CNBC recently reported. Since chips are used to power the computers that enable AI and that market is obviously exploding, AI chip stocks with competitive advantages are obviously going to do very well in the coming quarters and years.

Here are the three best AI chip stocks to buy for 2023.

Qualcomm (QCOM)

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Nvidia is viewed by many as the undisputed champion of AI chips. As a result, it may be surprising for you to learn that Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) AI chips actually beat Nvidia’s offerings “in two out of three measures of power efficiency ,” Reuters reported earlier this month.

Qualcomm’s chips are not likely to challenge those of NVDA when it comes to powering the computers used to train AI systems, Reuters indicated. However, Qualcomm’s chips, due to their low power requirements, will have a role to play when it comes to enabling AI systems to perform tasks after these systems are created, the news service suggested. These tasks are collectively known as “inference.” And Reuters noted that “Analysts believe that the market for data center inference chips will grow quickly as businesses put AI technologies into their products.”

QCOM, like many chipmakers, has been hurt by consumers’ goods-to-services shift. In Qualcomm’s case, weak smartphone sales have hurt its results. But research firm Canalys thinks that smartphone sales may climb during the remainder of 2023, driven by the adoption of 5G “and and innovative design.”

Moreover, QCOM stock has a very attractive forward price-earnings ratio of just 11.5x.

Applied Materials (AMAT)

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Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) provides equipment used to create chips. In fact, the company says that it is “the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world.”

Of course, with AI exploding and chips needed to both create the technology and allow it to carry out inference activities, many new chips will have to be manufactured over the longer term.

Validating my thesis, AMAT reported in February that it was benefiting significantly from the proliferation of AI. Indeed, AMAT named AI, along with automotive, high-performance computing, industrial automation, and clean energy, as the sectors that were “more resilient” to macroeconomic pressures.

Applied Materials’ fiscal second-quarter results, reported in February, were quite good, as its top line climbed 7% year-over-year to $6.74 billion, while its earnings per share, excluding certain items, also increased 7% YOY to $2.03.

The shares have an attractive forward price-earnings ratio of 15x.

Intel (INTC)

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As I noted in a recent column, Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) “new Xeon chip…was four times more efficient than a competing product from AMD in facilitating the development of some AI capabilities.” And, driven by chips created by Habana, an Israeli company that Intel acquired in 2019, the American chipmaker is reportedly poised to become a player “in the AI inference market.”

Indeed, in 2022, Intel reported that Gaudi2 chips were able to outperform Nvidia’s flagship AI chip, the A100 GPU, in “leadership training.”

Gaudi 2 reportedly features “huge improvements” over its predecessor, such as a 200% increase in its core count and 200% more High Bandwidth Memory. According to Tech Insights columnist Linley Gwennap, Gaudi 2 is the equal of Nvidia’s upcoming data center AI chip, Hopper.

Intel has an attractive forward price-earnings ratio of 15x.

Given Intel’s strong AI chips that have strong competitive advantages and the low valuation of INTC stock, the name is certainly one of the best AI chip stocks for 2023.

On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (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 Publishing Guidelines.

Larry Ramer has conducted research and written articles on U.S. stocks for 15 years. He has been employed by The Fly and Israel’s largest business newspaper, Globes. Larry began writing columns for InvestorPlace in 2015. Among his highly successful, contrarian picks have been PLUG, XOM and solar stocks. You can reach him on Stocktwits at @larryramer.