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3 AI Stocks to Snap Up for Explosive Returns in 2021

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AI is now deeply integrated into our lives, from influencing our choices while shopping online to assisting us to book meetings and frame schedules to finding best deals. AI is ubiquitous, from social media, digital advertising and gaming to even healthcare and diagnosis.

Growing clout of conversational AI in form of digital assistants, including Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) Alexa, Apple’s (AAPL - Free Report) Siri, Alphabet's (GOOGL - Free Report) OK/Hey Google, and Microsoft’s (MSFT - Free Report) Cortana and chatbots, deserves a special mention in this regard.

As the name suggests, Artificial Intelligence or AI is based on data-driven simulation of human intelligence process by machines, especially computer systems.

Enterprises are harnessing the power of AI as it collaborates with workforce and facilitates superior work with robust automation and accelerated computing of complex workloads. The enhanced productivity of employees aids companies to realize business goals faster than projected.

Proliferation of AI is set to grow even further as focus toward boosting user experience increases and companies seek to offer customized solutions. Moreover, growing popularity of autonomous cars and smart devices set the stage for solid growth in the AI space.

AI is Here to Stay in 2021 and Beyond

Coronavirus crisis triggered strong digital transformation environment, and major breakthroughs in cloud computing, predictive analysis, deep learning, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and Internet-of-Things (IoT), have been paving the way for a massive AI boom in 2021.

These developments in AI are leading to robust achievements in futuristic technology, including the training of advanced driver assisted systems (ADAS) in self-driving vehicles, increased AR/VR utilization across enterprise, healthcare, and entertainment, edge computing, blockchain, and even advanced warfare devices.

The companies are leveraging AI to design robust applications, which are revolutionizing broader working trends of various domains, including supply-chain optimization, customer care services, smart home automation, logistics, transportation, security, utility, financial services and banking, robotics, and agriculture.

In fact, per IDC, spending on AI systems is expected to hit $110 billion by 2024 from $50.1 billion estimated in 2020, at a CAGR of 20.1% between 2019 and 2024.

3 Top AI Stocks to Build a Fortune in 2021

Increasing optimism in AI space is evident from strong performance of Global X Artificial Intelligence & Technology ETF (AIQ), which has surged 51.8% in year to date compared with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF's (SPY) rally of 14.1%.

Investors looking to tap the budding prospects in this lucrative AI market can count on Micron Technology (MU - Free Report) , Microsoft and Cloudera (CLDR - Free Report) . Notably, each of these stocks has outperformed the S&P 500 index on a year-to-date basis.

Micron Technology manufactures and markets high-performance memory and storage technologies including Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), NAND flash memory, NOR Flash, 3D XPoint memory and other technologies. Its solutions are used in AI-driven edge computing, consumer, networking and mobile products.

Markedly, as self-driving cars take off, the sensors and cameras utilized in the ADAS systems will leverage more AI computing. This, in turn, will necessitate the need for advanced chips and robust drivers, which Micron strives to fulfill.

In 2019, the company acquired software and hardware startup, FWDNXT in a bid to deliver high-performance AI development platform enabled for deep learning applications, required in data analytics, particularly in IoT and edge computing.

Moreover, increasing use of data center chips and smartphones (for instance AI work on editing images) in running complex AI workloads boost the prospects of Micron’s expertise in memory domain.

Growth in AI is poised to boost demand for memory chips over the long haul, which is likely to act as a tailwind for Micron, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for fiscal 2021 has improved 36.6% to $3.66 over the past 30 days, which highlights bullish sentiments for the stock.

Microsoft is well positioned to gain from increasing penetration of AI expertise across its product portfolio, including Microsoft 365, Teams, Dynamics 365, HoloLens and cloud computing platform, Azure.

The tech giant is focusing on democratization of AI by development of conversational AI, ML, data sciences, robotics, and IoT. Moreover, Microsoft’s Azure contains AI-driven tools for medicine, language, robotics, medical imaging and more.

In 2019, the company also invested $1 billion in OpenAI that produces artificial general intelligence, a technology that works like human intelligence. The company’s GitHub acquisition, which enriched the company’s AI capabilities, is a key catalyst in this regard. Moreover, recent buyouts of Bonsai, Lobe, CyberX and Softomotive remain noteworthy.

The cloud-centric company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for fiscal 2021 has improved 5.8% to $6.73 over the past 60 days.

Cloudera is poised for a good run in 2021, led by its efforts to deliver robust enterprise data cloud, which enables “actionable insights from the Edge to AI.” The company offers a cloud-based software platform for data, ML, and analytics. The company’s AI offerings aid companies to store, process and manage data on servers making the procedure secure and efficient.

The company is focused on helping businesses in achieving faster analytic results by harnessing the potential of Big Data to create informed decisions, which is further substantiated by acquisitions of Fast Forward Labs and Arcadia Data.

Moreover, in collaboration with International Business Machines (IBM - Free Report) in June, 2019, the company aims to expand the use of "advanced data and AI solutions."

As AI booms, the company is well poised to build a superior position to capitalize on the emergence of AI. Moreover, accelerated deployment of 5G is a tailwind for this Zacks Rank #2 stock.

Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for fiscal 2021 has improved 21.2% to 40 cents over the past 30 days.

Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021

In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers for the entirety of 2021?

These 10 are painstakingly hand-picked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks to buy and hold.

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