More graphics chips needed for machine learning.
Shares of graphics chip maker Nvidia are up 69% this year and have risen almost fivefold since the end of 2015. That’s quite a ride and some investors may be ready to cash in their gains. But on Wall Street, plenty of analysts say Nvidia’s stock could go even higher.
The latest is William Stein at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. With Nvidia’s share price up 1% to about $180 on Monday, Stein on Monday increased his price target on the stock to $200 from $181.
Once dependent on video gamers eager for the fastest graphics cards, Nvidia’s has lately been benefitting from the use of its GPUs in servers that run artificial intelligence and machine learning programs. Stein expects Nvidia’s revenue from the server market, which more than doubled to $830 million last year, to increase at an average rate of 61% annually through 2020. The company’s total revenue increased 38% to almost $7 billion.
The server sales should offset any slowdown in sales from graphics cards to the cryptocurrency mining market, or a rumored loss of chip sales at carmaker Tesla tsla to competitors Advanced Micro Devices amd and Intel intc , Stein says.
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Nvidia nvda should benefit from improvements in both new hardware and software it is offering to customers soon, the analyst noted. While the new Volta V100 chip is two to six times faster than competing chips on some machine learning tasks, with the addition of the new TensorRT3 compiler for software, the set up is 40 to 140 times faster.
“Following recent new product and customer announcements, and our update from management, we now ascribe a higher likelihood to a more bullish growth scenario,” Stein wrote.
Stein isn’t the only analyst getting more bullish about Nvidia’s prospects. Michael McConnell at KeyBanc Capital Markets raised his target on the stock to $186. “Robust sell-through trends at desktop graphics card partners, sustained high-end GPU market share, and strong data center customer reception to NVIDIA’s new Volta A.I. platform (ASP $7,000 vs. Pascal $4,500) should drive an F3Q beat and raise,” he wrote in a report on Monday.
And last week, analysts at Needham & Co. also dismissed the Tesla rumors and urged investors to buy the stock. “We believe the reaction to the announcements are overblown and psychological in nature,” they wrote.