Artificial intelligence (AI) stocks were in fine form on the market in the first half of 2024, with key names that are benefiting from the proliferation of this technology outpacing the broader index by a wide margin.

Shares of Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), for instance, are up 154% in the first six months of the year. Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR) clocked 58% gains, while Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU) has also turned in a strong performance with a 54% appreciation in its stock price. For comparison, the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector index is up 16% in 2024.

These AI stocks have significantly outperformed the market so far this year. But will they be able to sustain the momentum in the second half of 2024? Let’s find out.

AI hardware demand will be a tailwind for these two stocks

Investments in AI hardware have remained strong in 2024, which is why Nvidia and Micron Technology showed solid growth in their latest quarterly reports.

While Nvidia’s revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2025 (for the three months ended April 28) jumped 262% on a year-over-year basis, Micron’s top line increased 81% to $6.8 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2024 (which ended on May 30). The good part is that both companies expect their impressive runs to continue.

Nvidia’s guidance for $28 billion in revenue in the current quarter at the midpoint would be more than double the $13.5 billion it reported in the prior-year period. Micron’s $7.6 billion revenue guidance for the ongoing quarter calls for a jump of 90% year over year.

More importantly, both companies are set to deliver a massive surge in their earnings in the current fiscal year. Nvidia’s bottom line could jump to $2.54 per share from $1.21 in the previous year, as per consensus estimates. Micron is expected to swing to a profit of $1.13 per share in the current fiscal year as compared to a loss of $4.45 per share in the previous year.

It is easy to see why both companies are set up for such terrific growth. Nvidia ended 2023 with a 94% share of the AI graphics processing unit market. It continues to dominate this space as the demand for its AI chips is outpacing supply.

This explains why Nvidia is expected to sell $87 billion worth of AI chips in 2024, according to market research firm Omdia. That would be a big jump over the $34 billion in sales last year.

Spending on memory chips is expected to jump 66% in 2024, according to Gartner, and Micron’s growth indicates that it is gaining ground in this space. The good part for Micron is that the demand for AI-specific high-bandwidth memory (HBM) is booming right now, and revenue from these chips is forecast to jump 200% this year, followed by an estimated doubling in 2025.

Micron and Nvidia are sitting on robust growth drivers thanks to spending on AI, which is why they should be able to sustain their healthy growth in 2024 and beyond. Shares of these two semiconductor companies could jump higher in the second half of the year if they keep outperforming Wall Street’s expectations.

Palantir Technologies looks set for a strong second half

The AI models that are trained by the chips provided by Nvidia and Micron are eventually deployed to solve problems in the real world, which explains why the demand for AI software is also growing at a phenomenal pace.

Gartner expects AI software spending to hit $298 billion in 2027, and Palantir Technologies’ growing backlog indicates that it is set to capitalize on this opportunity.

In the first quarter of 2024, revenue increased 21% year over year to $634 million. Adjusted earnings increased 60% to $0.08 per share. And the growing adoption of the company’s Artificial Intelligence Platform (AIP) software by commercial customers suggests that could accelerate.

For evidence, there is the 38% year-over-year increase in Palantir’s remaining performance obligations (RPO) in the first quarter to $1.3 billion. More importantly, its future revenue pipeline is now pretty strong. The value of its remaining deals increased 22% year over year in the first quarter to $4.1 billion.

RPO refers to the total remaining value of Palantir’s contracts, and this metric points toward stronger growth in the future, with the company expecting $2.68 billion in revenue in 2024.

Management said on the June earnings conference call that the adoption of AIP is driving new customer conversions and expansion among existing customers. The remaining deal value of its commercial contracts in the U.S. increased an impressive 74% year over year in the first quarter. The global total of commercial customers jumped 53% last quarter.

With the lucrative opportunity available in the AI software market, Palantir’s revenue pipeline and financial performance could keep improving in the long run. Analysts seem bullish about the company, with its bottom line forecast to grow at an annual rate of 85% for the next five years, as the adoption of its AI software could drive margin gains.

As such, Palantir looks like a top AI stock that investors would want in their portfolios since it could build upon the impressive upside that it has already delivered in 2024.

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Harsh Chauhan has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Nvidia and Palantir Technologies. The Motley Fool recommends Gartner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

These Top Artificial Intelligence (AI) Stocks Have Jumped 54% to 154% in 2024. Can They Soar Higher? was originally published by The Motley Fool

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