Artificial intelligence (AI) has turned out to be a solid catalyst for many stocks over the past year or so, which explains why shares of Super Micro Computer (SMCI 6.06%) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 1.85%) have shot up 607% and 101%, respectively, in the last 12 months.
However, a closer look at the financial performances of these companies reveals big differences in the impact of AI on their businesses. While one of these companies is witnessing a big surge in revenue and earnings thanks to AI, the other one is still trying to find its feet in this massive market.
Let’s take a closer look at the prospects of these two AI stocks to gauge which one of them is most worth buying right now.
The case for Super Micro Computer
Super Micro Computer (commonly known as Supermicro) sells AI server solutions such as rackmounts that are used for deploying AI chips. The company’s customized and modular server solutions are used for mounting AI chips from the likes of Nvidia, Intel, and AMD. Not surprisingly, as demand for AI server chips has increased, sales of Supermicro’s offerings have gone through the roof.
The company’s revenue in its fiscal 2024 second quarter (which ended on Dec. 31) rose by an impressive 103% year over year to $3.66 billion. Its adjusted earnings jumped from $3.26 per share in the year-ago quarter to $5.59 per share. Management pointed out that this terrific growth was a result of both new customer gains and robust demand from established customers, which “continue to demand more [of] Supermicro’s optimized AI computer platforms and rack-scale Total IT Solutions.”
What’s more, Supermicro says that it is gaining ground in the AI server market. As a result, the company now expects its fiscal 2024 revenue to land between $14.3 billion and $14.7 billion. That’s a substantial jump from its earlier guidance range of $10 billion to $11 billion. If it hits that target, Supermicro would more than double its revenue from its fiscal 2023.
AI is playing a key role in this eye-popping revenue surge as the company gets more than half of its total revenue from selling server solutions into this market. That’s why investors shouldn’t be surprised to see Supermicro ending fiscal 2024 with even better revenue growth. The demand for AI servers is growing rapidly — researchers at Gartner estimate an annualized growth rate of 30% in this market through 2027.
Supermicro is aggressively investing in capacity expansion to make the most of this opportunity. On its latest earnings conference call, management said that its new production “sites will support our annual revenue capacity above $25 billion.” This explains why analysts are upbeat about Supermicro’s long-term prospects, estimating that its earnings could grow at an annualized rate of 48% for the next five years.
As a result, Supermicro could continue to remain a top AI stock for years to come and sustain its impressive share price rally.
The case for AMD
While shares of AMD have doubled in the past year, that rise has been driven more by hype. This is evident from the chart below.
Moreover, AMD’s fourth-quarter results, which were released on Jan. 30, show that its AI business isn’t going to be as big as that of Supermicro. AMD anticipates generating at least $3.5 billion in revenue from sales of AI chips in 2024. We have already seen that Supermicro gets more than half of its total revenue from selling AI hardware. So, Supermicro’s $14.5 billion revenue forecast for the year suggests that AI could drive more than $7 billion in annual sales for the server manufacturer.
However, the good part is that AMD has significantly raised its AI-related revenue guidance for 2024. The company was earlier anticipating $2 billion in revenue from sales of AI chips this year. It has significantly raised that guidance in light of the strong initial reception among buyers to its family of MI300 Instinct accelerators, which it released in December.
“We have also made significant progress with our supply chain partners and have secured additional capacity to support upside demand,” CEO Lisa Su said on the Q4 earnings call. So there is a good chance that AMD may be able to generate more revenue from its AI business as the year goes on and raise its guidance. However, investors should be aware that AI is a small percentage of AMD’s overall business, and the company faces challenges in key areas.
As a result, it is not surprising to see that analysts are expecting its revenue to increase 14% in 2024 to $26 billion, which is significantly slower than the growth Supermicro is anticipated to deliver. It is also worth noting that AMD’s growth is expected to accelerate in 2025, with its revenue expected to jump 25% to $32.3 billion. However, that’s lower than the 30% revenue jump that Supermicro is expected to deliver next fiscal year.
So AI is likely to have a bigger positive influence on Supermicro as compared to AMD. But this is not the only reason why Supermicro seems like a better AI bet right now.
The valuation makes it clear which is the better AI stock to buy
Supermicro is growing at a much faster pace than AMD. What’s more, it is trading at a cheap 3.6 times sales right now, while AMD’s price-to-sales multiple stands at a rich 11. Beyond that, Supermicro is cheaper than AMD as far as their forward valuation multiples are concerned.
As such, it is easy to see that Super Micro Computer is the better AI stock to buy now when compared to AMD, as it is not just cheap but is also delivering handsome growth thanks to the booming demand for its server solutions.
Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner, Intel, and Super Micro Computer and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $57.50 calls on Intel, long January 2025 $45 calls on Intel, and short February 2024 $47 calls on Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.