2024 Stock Outlook: The “Magnificent Seven” Stars and Blemishes

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By Ronald Tech

Nvidia: A Blooming Gem

The chips developed by Nvidia have taken center stage in the realm of demanding, high-compute applications, particularly in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). The company’s dominance in the AI chip market, accounting for as much as 90% of the share, has propelled its earnings to exhilarating heights, with a staggering 200% year-over-year revenue acceleration to a substantial $18 billion in the most recent quarter.

Forecasts for Nvidia imply an annual earnings growth of 42%, validating the stock’s value at 40 times the profits of 2023, denoted by a PEG ratio of merely 1. This statistic elucidates the stock’s appeal, even after a remarkable 250% ascent in 2023.

Apple: Approaching with Caution

Amidst the “Magnificent Seven,” the growth of Apple has failed to keep pace with its stock performance. The company’s revenue witnessed a decline over the past year, with a mere 1% increase in net income. Apple’s business tends to fluctuate cyclically, largely contingent on pivotal iPhone launches, complicating matters when share prices and operational results diverge.

Analysts have tempered their growth prospects for Apple, given its PEG ratio surpassing 3 at more than 29 times the 2023 earnings. This valuation makes investing in Apple at this juncture a challenging decision, warranting investors to await a more favorable opportunity.

Meta Platforms: A Brewing Opportunity

In 2022, Meta Platforms faced a downturn, grappling with a slowdown in advertising, adversity from privacy alterations in iPhones, and the viability of costly metaverse ventures that failed to yield returns. The turbulence led to a decline in share prices to $89, before CEO Mark Zuckerberg steered the company back on course, streamlining expenditures, navigating through the iPhone challenges, and reinstating revenue growth and profitability to commendable levels.

Astonishingly, despite a rally in 2023 that dispelled pessimism, the stock is still attractively valued at merely 25 times the 2023 earnings, coupled with a foreseen annual growth of 20%. This indicates that Meta Platforms persists as a remarkable enterprise, unappreciated by Wall Street, with ample room for forthcoming growth in 2024 and beyond.

Microsoft: A Tarnished Glint

Amid the viral fervor surrounding ChatGPT in 2023, Microsoft expediently entered the fray by cementing ties with its creator, OpenAI, through a multibillion-dollar investment and an extended partnership. With extensive involvement in enterprise software, cloud computing, gaming, and diverse technological domains, Microsoft retains its stature as one of the world’s largest and most diversified technology corporations. Its cloud positioning amidst the AI prospect has evidently elevated analyst expectations for its forthcoming earnings growth.

Although a mid-teens growth trajectory is not negligible, designating Microsoft as a growth stock at its astounding $2.8 trillion market capitalization entails increasing difficulty.







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Amazon: A Wise Investment Choice

Amidst the market’s relentless churn, Amazon, the e-commerce and cloud leader, has emerged as a worthy contender for investors. This enterprise, known for judiciously plowing profits back into its business, is continuously undervalued due to this practice. Despite currently trading at 57 times its bottom-line earnings, the stock’s PEG ratio sits just over 2. This approach not only downplays its true profit potential but also renders Amazon an alluring investment opportunity when pitted against similarly valued Microsoft.

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AMZN PE Ratio (Forward) Chart

AMZN PE Ratio (Forward) data by YCharts

With Amazon’s continuous investment in developing its AI technology and its enduring scope for growth within the e-commerce sector — where it merely holds a 15% share in the U.S. retail market — the prospects seem fruitful for those willing to take the plunge into this stock.

Tesla: A Prudent Avoidance

In the volatile world of electric vehicle and energy companies, Tesla stands as a testament to the perplexities that arise when share price and fundamentals diverge. Despite embarking on a strategy that involves price cuts for the purpose of boosting unit sales, the move has exerted short-term ramifications on Tesla’s operating results. A 22% decrease in its gross profit margin over the past year underscores the challenges that lie ahead.

TSLA PE Ratio (Forward) Chart

TSLA PE Ratio (Forward) data by YCharts

While Tesla’s bold approach may eventually bear fruit, the present juncture finds the stock at a crossroads. Analysts have tempered their growth forecasts for the company. Consequently, with a PEG ratio exceeding 4, it would be prudent for investors to exercise caution and await tangible evidence reflecting the efficacy of Tesla’s ongoing price-reduction gambit.

Alphabet: A Strong Buy

The indomitable force of Alphabet, bolstered by its ownership of Google and YouTube and underpinned by a domineering AI potential, makes it a compelling option for investors. The company’s utilization of AI to optimize its advertising monetization on its platforms, alongside its consistent share buybacks that have reduced outstanding shares by 10% over the past five years, paints a picture of resilience and longevity.

GOOGL PE Ratio (Forward) Chart

GOOGL PE Ratio (Forward) data by YCharts

Despite the stock’s 57% ascent in 2023, Alphabet still remains an attractive prospect for long-term investors with a PEG ratio of 1.4, affirming its status as a wise investment platform.

Should you invest $1,000 in Nvidia right now?

Before you buy stock in Nvidia, consider this:

It is essential to note that while Nvidia presents a compelling case, investor discretion is advised. There are several other stocks which have been identified as promising prospects by the Motley Fool Stock Advisor analyst team, indicating that meticulous evaluation and prudence are crucial before making any investment decisions.

*Stock Advisor returns as of December 18, 2023


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