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Nvidia Stock Is the Must-Own Name in the Chip Space

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Luke Lango
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When it comes to chip stocks, all the hype recently has centered around Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), the chipmaker whose reemergence in the red-hot server market has catalyzed a massive rally in AMD stock from $2 in 2015 to $30 today — a 1,400% rally in three years.

But you know what other chip stock has staged an equally big rally? Artificial intelligence king Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). During that same time frame, Nvidia stock has gone from $20 to $280 — a 1,300% rally in three years.

In other words, although AMD stock is the center of all the hype today, Nvidia stock has actually been just as hot in a three-year window.

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Moreover, AMD stock trades at 64 times forward earnings. Nvidia stock trades at 35X forward earnings. Meanwhile, AMD stock trades more than 100% above its 200-day moving average and has a Relative Strength Index (RSI) in overbought territory. Nvidia stock trades at just 15% above its 200-day moving average and has a RSI in middle-of-the-road territory.

What am I getting at here? AMD stock is red hot. And it should remain hot thanks to market share expansion tailwinds. But it is also risky because of a big valuation and overstretched technicals. Meanwhile, Nvidia stock is just as hot in a multi-year window. And it should remain hot thanks to AI and IoT tailwinds. Yet, Nvidia stock isn’t that risky, because valuation is relatively constrained and the technicals aren’t overstretched.

Thus, if you are going to own just one name in the chip space, the name to own is Nvidia.

Nvidia Is King Where It Matters

When it comes to Nvidia, this company is king where it matters — in every industry with exposure to AI.

On one end, the company provides parts for hyper-scale data centers. Nvidia’s GPUs are being used by all the big players in this space, including Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and several others. Revenue growth in this segment remains robust (+83% last quarter), and promises to remain big for the foreseeable future so long as internet usage grows, cloud migration continues and AI technology advances — all three of which seem like inevitable consequences of today’s information era.

On the other end, the company provides the technology which powers next-gen gaming. As the gaming industry graduates into the next-gen category and becomes more virtual/augmented reality heavy, demand for Nvidia’s suite of products will grow. Another huge tailwind here is e-sports, which continues to grow at a massive rate and turns video game playing into a globally connected activity. Revenue growth here remains robust (+52% last quarter), and promises to remain big for the foreseeable future thanks to e-sports and AR/VR gaming.

Elsewhere, Nvidia also provides the technology that powers self-driving cars, automated technologies, video capture, and data visualization. Growth across all those segments is also big. Both automotive and pro visualization revenues hit records last quarter, with automotive rising 13% and pro visualization rising 20%.

In other words, Nvidia is an all-things-AI company. As an all-things-AI company, Nvidia has guaranteed itself a robust growth trajectory over the next several years. Investor demand for exposure to this growth narrative likely only intensifies as AI technologies go more mainstream. Thus, Nvidia stock should only head higher in a multi-year window.

Valuation Implies Further Upside

The valuation on Nvidia stock is ostensibly rich. The stock trades at 35X forward earnings versus a five-year average forward multiple of 27.

But looking at Nvidia stock that way misses the big picture. This is a company whose growth prospects are better than ever and, as a result, the valuation on Nvidia stock should be bigger than ever. For example, revenues rose 40% last quarter, while gross margins expanded nearly 500 basis points, operating profits rose nearly 70% and earnings per share rose more than 90%.

In that context, a 35 forward multiple isn’t all that rich.

Indeed, if you consider that the markets Nvidia has exposure to are expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next several years, then it really isn’t that hard to imagine 15-20% revenue growth going forward for this company. It also isn’t hard to imagine margin expansion persisting, so long as demand remains robust. Thus, at the end of the day, this company has a realistic chance to grow profits by 20-25% per year over the next five years.

If so, Nvidia could be looking at $13.50 in earnings per share in five years. A five-year average 27 forward multiple on that implies a four-year forward price target of ~$365. Thus, at $280, Nvidia stock still has a ton of upside left in a multi-year window.

Bottom Line on NVDA Stock

Valuation friction will cause this stock to have some volatility every once and a while. But, longer-term, this company’s robust and diversified exposure to all-things-AI will inevitably push Nvidia stock significantly higher in a multi-year window. Thus, this stock should be owned for the long term, and bought on significant weakness.

As of this writing, Luke Lango was long AMD, NVDA, FB, AMZN, and GOOG. 

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