Working the stock market is a data game. Getting the best information, in a timely way, and knowing how to use it, are keys to success. So, here are some numbers to think about. According to industry market research, artificial intelligence companies and products are on the verge of explosive growth. The AI market was valued at $9.5 billion in 2018, over $27 billion in 2019, and is projected to exceed $250 billion in 2027.
AI refers to the use of data to simulate human intelligence processes including learning, reasoning and self-correction by machines. AI is making its way into almost every industry. Data collection and collation, automation systems from factories to self-driving cars, even online shopping site – they all benefit from AI applications.
And this has not been ignored by Wall Street. Analysts say that plenty of compelling investments can be found within this space. With this in mind, we’ve opened up TipRanks’ database to find two AI stocks that have gotten the seal of approval from 5-star analysts, stock pros rated among the top 3% of their peers. Let’s find out why they recommend these two AI plays.
Veritone, Inc. (VERI)
The first AI stock we’re looking at is Veritone, a software company whose flagship product, an AI-powered operating system called aiWARE, allows the user to coordinate machine learning models and integrate disparate data sources – including audio and visual – into actionable intelligence results. The system boasts an open architecture, and has been applied in the entertainment, government, legal, and media sectors.
At the beginning of March, Veritone released its 4Q20 earnings, showing record quarterly revenue at $16.8 million – a year-over-year gain of 35%. The increase was driven by yoy sales gains in aiWARE SaaS, which was up 53%, and Advertising, which was up 50%.
However, Veritone stock saw a 49% fall from the peak value it hit in February. Investors liked the strong financials, but there is some worry about the company’s future guidance. Management is predicting a non-GAAP net loss in the range of $3.9 million to $4.4 million in 1Q21, and while that represents a 38% improvement at the mid-point from 1Q20, investors do want to see a profit.
Roth Capital’s 5-star analyst Darren Aftahi, however, thinks this new, lower stock price could offer new investors an opportunity to get into VERI on the cheap. Aftahi sees this stock as a well-positioned AI growth story.
“VERI put up better 4Q results, but more importantly, accelerating topline growth in both AI SaaS and Advertising (both over 50%). If our assumption about its Content and Licensing business returning to 2019 levels (with modest growth) is correct in 2021, it implies its 2021 guide (which was much better by the way) for advertising and AI SaaS is north of 40% growth (~30% for Advertising and ~low 60%s for AI). Most importantly, its AI SaaS line was guided to 60-65% growth, showing a doubling of growth y/y,” Aftahi noted.
In line with his comments, Aftahi rates the stock a Buy, and his $50 price target implies growth of 104% in the year ahead. (To watch Aftahi’s track record, click here)
All in all, with a share price of $24.53 and a consensus average price target of $38.75, VERI shares offer investors a chance for 58% share growth this year. The analyst consensus rating, a Moderate Buy, is based on 3 Buy reviews and 1 Sell. (See VERI stock analysis on TipRanks)
Verint Systems (VRNT)
Verint stock has appreciated 107% over the last 12 months, with a large part of that gain coming in a 31% jump at the beginning of February. That jump came in reaction to the company’s split into two entities – Cognyte, the spin-off, took on the parent’s intelligence and cyber operations, while Verint continued as a pure-play, AI-powered customer engagement service. The company uses its combination of market experience and AI and analytic products to enable customers to optimize their automation, knowledge, and workforce.
Verint’s fiscal year 2021 ended on January 31, the day before the split, and the company reported its Q4 and full year results at the end of March. Those results beat expectations for the quarter, with $349 million in total revenue – a 3% year-over-year gain. For the full year, however, the $1.27 billion in revenue was a shade below the $1.3 billion reported in the previous year.
The Q4 data bodes for the Verint in its pure-play customer engagement incarnation, as those AI cloud sectors grew more than 30% year-over-year in that quarter.
Calling Verint a “unique AI engagement company,” Oppenheimer’s 5-star analyst Timothy Horan sees the new Verint in a strong position to move forward.
“VRNT reported solid 4Q21 earnings and is now a pure play customer engagement AI company following its split. VRNT is successfully executing its transition to a SaaS/ Cloud model. New perpetual license bookings (PLE) was up 15% this quarter. The transition away from licensed sales is difficult but largely behind it as revenue growth should accelerate from this quarter onward. Cloud demand has seen a healthy 50/50 split between existing and new customers….”
Getting to the bottom line, Horan adds, “It exited the year with strong momentum in cloud and bookings. We think it can continue to sign large cloud deals across contact center and other verticals.”
These are upbeat comments, and Horan backs them with an Outperform (i.e., Buy) rating, and a $60 price target indicating room for ~32% growth in the next 12 months. (To watch Horan’s track record, click here)
Overall, there is broad agreement on Wall Street that Verint is a stock to Buy, as shown by the unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating. This is based on 6 recent positive reviews. The shares have an average price target of $59.33, suggesting ~30% upside potential from the current trading price of $45.50. (See VRNT stock analysis on TipRanks)
To find good ideas for AI stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.