3 of the Smartest AI Stocks to Buy Now for Long-Term Growth

Stocks to buy

Are you looking for AI stocks that could provide long-term growth? Artificial intelligence is undoubtedly the most popular theme of 2023, grabbing headlines left and right and significantly impacting the performance of most of the IT industry.

The impact of AI has created new opportunities for various industries to grow and expand, ranging from health care to banking and even real estate. The applications of AI are virtually limitless. Now that we’ve arrived at the 2024 starting line, the next question is, will the 2023 darlings remain at the top, or will a new generation of AI stocks take the lead? Investors should consider purchasing the top AI stocks in 2024 for long-term growth.

Altair Engineering (ALTR)

a graphic of the human brain with waves going into the left side and highly digitalized waves coming out the other, signifying the improvement of human knowledge with the help of artificial intelligence

First on our list is a global leader in Artificial Intelligence and computational science. Altair Engineering (NASDAQ:ALTR) has been a groundbreaker in AI and computational science by revolutionizing the cloud solutions and high-performance computing landscape (HPC). Its specialization in data analytics, simulation software, and optimization products opens its doors to diverse clients.

ALTR’s latest version of HPCWorks 2024 provided its users with an enhanced user interface and functionality with the integration of AI that helps streamline workflow distribution and optimize cloud scaling. The company also offers client engineering services to help support customers in the long term with its ongoing expertise.

Looking closer at its financials, ALTR’s most recent report points to a robust 14.8% YoY growth in software product revenue and a 12.3% total revenue growth YoY. Non-GAAP metrics also showed a 126.3% rise in adjusted EBITDA and a 197.0% increase in net income YoY.

Analysts also praise ALTR with their “Strong Buy” recommendation and a projected high target price of $95.00. That might not look like a lot in terms of current price levels, but investors should also remember that ALTR is one of the AI and computational science leaders. As the technology moves towards adoption in every part of our society, so does its growth. In our view, that’s a growth story we want to be a part of, so we recommend ALTR as a buy-rated AI stock for long-term growth.

Super Micro Computer (SMCI)

Graphic of letters "AI" on green techy digital-display background with square pixels spelling out the letters, symbolizing artificial intelligence and AI stocks

Source: shutterstock.com/Victor Runov

The next one on our list may not be a direct AI play, but it is one of the primary beneficiaries of the AI boom. Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ:SMCI) is an application-optimized server and storage systems provider for enterprise data centers in high-demanding tasks like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and edge computing. Unlike other companies like Nvidia, which sells GPUs, the company offers a complete IT solution wherein it packages these and other components into server racks for sale to a broad audience. That means that as AI adoptions grow to a full scale, so will SMCI.

The company has also announced its upcoming support for the new NVIDIA HGX H200, which comes with H200 Tensor Core GPU and newer rack solutions optimized for AI, edge computing, and cloud service providers. 

Despite missing the mark in a few key points, its latest financials and announcements make a strong case for a worthy investment for AI enthusiasts. Net sales were strong at $2.12 billion, growing 14.5% YoY. Meanwhile, net income ended at $157 million, lower YoY due to increased operating expenses, mainly research and development, and lower operating income. Despite that, SMCI maintains a positive outlook for FY’24, which helps boost investor confidence. YTD, the stock is already up over 52% – and the sky might really be the limit on this stock in 2024.

Baidu Inc (BIDU)

An image of a laptop on a table with the screen showing the red and blue logo for Chinese Internet company "Baidu", with the background being blurred.

The final company on our list of AI stocks is another frontrunner in the AI race that could provide long-term growth. Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) is mainly known for its Chinese language Internet search engine, one of the most popular ones used globally.

The company’s operations fall under two segments: Baidu Core for its search-based, feed-based, and online marketing services with AI initiatives, and iQIYI for its online entertainment content produced originally or with other content partners. BIDU has been investing heavily in AI, and its latest ERNIE 4.0, accessible through ERNIE Bot and Cloud API, shows the company’s commitment to being at the forefront of AI advancements.

Baidu’s latest financials indicate a 6% YoY revenue growth. Meanwhile, the Baidu Core segment reported a 5% growth in total revenue and a 6% growth in non-online marketing revenue. In addition, the company’s Apollo Go ride-hailing service also had a substantial 73% increase in reported rides, with cumulative rides for the public reaching 4.1 million. The Baidu app also saw a 5% increase in monthly active users YoY.  

Like most stocks in China, the 1-YR performance hasn’t been stellar. In fact, BIDU is down ~22% over the past year. However, with stellar numbers and a solid commitment to advancing AI, Baidu is one of the best stocks for investors looking to ride the AI boom.

On the date of publication, Rick Orford did not have (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.

Rick Orford is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author, investor, influencer, and mentor. His work has appeared in the most authoritative publications, including Good Morning America, Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC News.

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