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5 big analyst AI moves: CMB starts Amazon at Buy; Super Micro PT lifted


5 big analyst AI moves: CMB starts Amazon at Buy; Super Micro PT lifted By

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Published Feb 25, 2024 09:26 — Here are the biggest analyst moves in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) for this week.

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No demand concerns for Microsoft’s Azure and AI workloads – TD Cowen

After hosting a virtual investor meeting with Microsoft’s investor relations (IR) managers TD Cowen equity analysts reaffirmed their bullish views on the tech giant’s stock, citing accelerating demand for Azure and AI workloads.

“In Azure, demand trends are stabilizing, spend on new workloads is resurfacing and healthy backlog is driving confidence in growth & share gains. In AI, customer projects are early, breadth of demand is building & MSFT seems to be capitalizing on competitive advantages,” analysts said in a note this week.

The broker highlighted a change in customer patterns for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), noting a pivot in how clients are allocating their budgets amidst the economic landscape.

Where there was once reluctance to invest in new workloads and premium services due to economic uncertainties, customers are now engaging more actively by investing in new workloads again; setting aside budgets specifically for AI initiatives on Azure; and accumulating a more substantial backlog of projects to initiate.

“We get the sense this is helping to build a larger & more visible level of pipeline for Azure, giving mgmt confidence in the durability of Azure growth,” TD Cowen noted.

CMB starts Amazon at Buy

China Merchants Bank’s subsidiary CMB International Capital Corp. started research coverage on the technological behemoths on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) this week, saying it sees “ample potential” for the tech behemoth’s growth opportunities for its e-commerce sector both in the US and abroad.

The investment firm set a target price for AMZN at $213.

Amazon’s AWS cloud division is benefiting from a strong technological foundation, with the emergence of generative AI offering further potential for expansion, according to CMB analysts.

“The continuous increase in retail business efficiency and improvement in economies of scale will help boost profitability in our view, backed by regionalization strategy, reduction in cost to serve, and rising revenue contribution from platform business,” analysts said.

“Increase in revenue mix of relatively high-margin AWS business is likely to drive margin expansion for Amazon in the long run.”

CMB simultaneously initiated coverage on MSFT, also with a Buy rating

Macquarie commends Masayoshi Son’s new chip venture

Last week, Bloomberg reported that SoftBank’s (TYO:9984) Masayoshi Son is launching a new $100 billion chip venture, Izanagi, to compete with Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) in the AI semiconductors market.

This move reportedly aims to elevate Arm Holdings (NASDAQ:ARM), SoftBank’s chip design subsidiary, and establish the investment holding company as a leader in the AI chip industry.

A Macquarie analyst praised Son’s new initiative, saying the 66-year-old billionaire entrepreneur “is thinking big for his next move.”

“This venture, if launched, would benefit from the SoftBank AI ecosystem we’ve consistently written about as underappreciated in shares, though benefiting especially from Arm,” the analyst wrote in a note.

Rosenblatt hikes Super Micro PT to a new Street High

A Rosenblatt equity analyst nearly doubled the target price on Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ: NASDAQ:SMCI) from $700 to $1,300, marking a new Street high.

“Key to the story is for investors to consider that the company is benefiting not only from secular AI growth (over 50% CAGR over next several years) but material share gains,” the analyst said in a Monday note.

“We anticipate these gains to reach double digits in the next couple of years, up from the current mid-single digits, with a particular focus on enterprise,” he added.

The analyst highlighted that adopting liquid cooling technology is crucial for enhancing cloud infrastructure’s capacity for AI, seeing it as a key driver for increased involvement by hyper-scale operators.

Scotiabank starts research coverage of UiPath

Earlier in the week, analysts at Scotiabank Global Equity Research started coverage of the UiPath (NYSE:PATH) with a Sector Perform rating and a target price of $29.

“PATH has blossomed from a top-tier robotic process automation (RPA) vendor to a full-fledged platform for enterprise-level automation, with products attacking automation and integration challenges through various technology vantage points,” the analysts said.

According to Scotiabank, PATH’s expansion into a wider automation platform taps into a large, validated market, offering chances to increase its share among current clients.

This move towards a broader focus on automation beyond core Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is essential for sustained growth.

While PATH is poised to deepen its penetration into the automation sector and maintain its leadership, it faces challenges from a changing market and increasing competition, the analysts cautioned.

“We are intrigued by PATH’s growth durability and margin progression as it scaled to $1.5B in ARR in short order, but wait for a better entry point before recommending shares,” they said.

5 big analyst AI moves: CMB starts Amazon at Buy; Super Micro PT lifted

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