Artificial intelligence has become an invaluable ally for investors seeking an edge in data-driven markets. By rapidly analyzing vast amounts of information, AI helps investors identify promising opportunities others might overlook. However, wise investors know even the most advanced AI lacks nuanced reasoning and should not dictate decisions. The key is thoughtfully combining AI’s screening abilities with human diligence and insight.
Today, I aim to demonstrate this blended approach by first prompting Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) new Gemini-powered Bard chatbot to suggest seven stocks set to soar in 2024. I chose Bard because it has shown prowess in picking stocks compared to other models. However, its suggestions serve only as a starting point. The real value comes through applying human analysis to evaluate risks, potential, and fit for my investment goals. That is what I’ll be doing today.
While AI’s novelty may be fading on Wall Street, it remains unmatched at initial data crunching to surface hidden gems, particularly for those with limited time for research. But the human touch remains essential to judge how speculative or sound these ideas truly are. No AI today can replicate our nuanced reasoning. With that in mind, let’s take a look!
As economies consolidate and growth resumes in 2024, Ørsted (OTCMKTS:DNNGY) has sizable potential, particularly as Europe seeks to diversify energy imports. With natural gas prices remaining quite low after 2022’s spike, the entire energy sector seems to have little room left to decline. Analysts estimate Ørsted’s EPS growth will return next year, with a forward price-earnings ratio of 18.3-times, based on 2024 earnings. This valuation seems reasonable to me, especially if global tailwinds accelerate offshore wind projects.
DNNGY stock was one of many not among 2023’s mega-cap winners that actually lost ground. However, its recovery is now underway and appears likely to continue as macro conditions improve. Tremendous long-term growth runways also exist as nations push for greener power amid climate change fears. Ørsted aims for over 50GW offshore wind capacity by 2030. Its ambitious targets may bring volatility, but as a first mover in this space, I believe the coming decades will be prosperous for this firm.
Thus, I agree with Bard that in 2024 and beyond, Ørsted stock offers sizable upside. Its dip provides a chance to buy into the inevitable future of renewable energy at a reasonable price.
CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) trades at nosebleed valuations today, with a forward price-sales ratio above 20-times. Even 2033 EPS estimates still put the company’s price-earnings ratio at over 12-times. Frankly, this is not a stock I’d expect to double soon, given such massive premiums already built in. While cybersecurity firms deserve high multiples on secular tailwinds, doubling Crowdstrike’s already-stretched valuation seems unreasonable, when considering its growth prospects. Considerable downside risk exists with owning this stock, in my view.
However, I disagree with outright selling CRWD stock either, despite disagreeing with Bard’s bullish call. The company retains strong momentum as cloud security’s first mover, with a wide competitive moat thanks to its platform model. If the cloud stock craze reignites, perhaps CrowdStrike will ride higher.
But without a compelling catalyst, I believe its premium valuation leaves little margin for error. Thus, while CrowdStrike will likely remain a long-term winner, I am skeptical about Bard’s bullish near-term prognosis. Unless growth reaccelerates materially, I expect the stock will trade in a sideways fashion, until its financials catch up to lofty multiples. Thus, this stock’s upside appears limited.
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)
Unlike many richly-priced cloud software names, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) is a business I’d be comfortable paying a premium for. The company is executing well, with rapidly-growing revenue and earnings, that don’t seem to have any slowdown in sight. Given durable double-digit growth, its forward price-earnings ratio of 52-times seems expensive, but not totally unreasonable. Robotic surgeries are still yet to become a thing, and long-term developments here can expand its earnings per share much more.
While unlikely to repeat its sizable 2023 returns this year, I disagree with Bard on ISRG dominating in 2024. Still, its da Vinci surgical system enjoys tremendous demand tailwinds as minimally invasive surgery adoption rises globally. Procedure growth should drive recurring instrument, accessory, and service revenue for years to come.
No doubt the stock won’t be cheap by traditional metrics, given its growth profile. But quality names like Intuitive seldom get discounted for long. While gains may moderate, I expect healthy increases to continue. Its balance sheet also remains squeaky clean.
Boasting a sky-high valuation at 23-times forward sales and 78-times 2028 earnings estimates, Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW) gives me pause. This stock seems overly expensive, even for a data cloud firm firing on all cylinders. Secular growth tailwinds for cloud and AI exist, no doubt. But the sheer premium leaves little margin for error. A slight deceleration or market jitters could spark an avalanche with this stock.
I respect Snowflake’s leadership position, enabling data-driven transformation. However, unlike Bard, I cannot recommend buying at current levels. Consensus 2030 revenue multiples still hover near 4-times – hardly a bargain. Waiting for a better entry point seems prudent.
Snowflake should harness long-term growth given rising data usage global, but its stretched valuation limits near-term upside in my view. Significant downside risk lurks if growth plateaus even modestly. Unless the stock price rerates lower, I disagree with Bard’s bullish call and see greater value in other tech names right now.
PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) looks attractively valued today as a dominant global payment platform. Despite muted user growth lately, it remains wildly profitable with fortress margins. The company continues generating higher revenue and earnings per share, amid ongoing share buybacks.
Yes, trendier payment apps boast stronger recent user growth. However, they lack PayPal’s profitability and vendor acceptance. This stock has consolidated long enough, in my view, to stand out as a rare bargain among fintech’s cream of the crop options.
As macro uncertainty gives way to renewed optimism in 2024, I expect PYPL stock to regain its premium multiple. The balance sheet appears to be rock-solid, allowing the company the ability to fund user acquisition efforts as needed. With double-digit earnings growth backed by reasonable valuations, I agree with Bard on the flashy upside potential here.
Lucid Group (LCID)
Lucid Group (NASDAQ:LCID) operates in a tempting but treacherous arena rife with cash-burning EV startups promising the moon yet perpetually disappointing. Having bled money for years amid production delays, I cannot view Lucid as a high-probability winner, despite potentially promising products.
In my opinion, Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) dominance leaves little oxygen for struggling American challengers to gain traction. While lucky speculators may profit if Lucid defies the odds, the stock looks decidedly overvalued for such a speculative bet.
I respectfully disagree with Bard’s call on LCID stock gaining dramatically in 2024. The company must first demonstrate sustainable commercial viability before deserving loftier multiples. Unless execution sharply improves, I expect further value erosion to remain more likely than explosive upside.
Palantir (NYSE:PLTR) commands nosebleed valuations today based largely on future AI catalysts and the potential of big data. But paying 17-times sales and 67-times forward earnings leaves no margin for error. One slight hiccup in growth or the overall tech trade could spark an exodus from this richly-priced name.
Make no mistake about it, I am overwhelmingly bullish on Palantir’s platform and competitive positioning long-term. But from a risk-reward standpoint, I cannot endorse buying here. Upside appears limited, barring further extreme multiple expansion.
I applaud Palantir’s profitability achievements lately. However, tech multiples often revert faster than underlying fundamentals. With a premium larger than 96% of software peers, prevailing risks seem to outweigh foreseeable rewards.
Thus, I must respectfully disagree with Bard on Palantir dominating in 2024. Unless the equity reprices lower first, I believe the stock will remain range-bound as the company grows into its currently lofty valuation over the next 12-18 months.
On the date of publication, Omor Ibne Ehsan 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 InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.