When you think about stock picks for 2024 related to artificial intelligence, the first name that likely comes to mind is Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). If not NVDA, then pure-play technology companies rise to the forefront for obvious reasons. However, the beauty of digital intelligence is that the innovation is utilitarian, empowering practically all industries to benefit.
To put this into a numeric context, Grand View Research estimates that the global AI market size reached a valuation of $136.55 billion in 2022. Further, experts project that the sector will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. At the forecast culmination point, the industry may be worth more than $1.81 trillion.
That’s one of the key reasons to consider AI stocks for 2024. Essentially, the industry continues to grow, both in terms of the market value and for improving efficiencies and conveniences. Therefore, it’s possible that the projected CAGR could be understated. Any industry that benefits from advanced analytics – again, practically every sector – should find value with AI.
On that note, below is a broad range of stock picks for 2024.
With the start of the new year signaling tax day quickly approaching, tax software specialist Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) offers plenty of relevance as one of the stock picks for 2024. Analysts agree, rating shares a consensus strong buy with an average price target of $640. Admittedly, that’s not that much growth. However, the high-side target – issued by Susquehanna on Dec. 15 – sees INTU hitting $700.
For Intuit, I’m personally excited about how the evolution of AI can effectively forward the business of tax preparation. As you know, taxes can be incredibly convoluted, involving myriad laws and procedures. Generative AI applications can give customers quick and clear answers. That’s really where Intuit is headed with its financial assistant platform. In my opinion, INTU makes a strong case for AI stocks for 2024.
As for the financials, I admit that with shares trading at nearly 66X trailing-year earnings, that’s not exactly a discount. And even the forward multiple of almost 37X isn’t enticing. However, the growth of the gig economy – and the subsequent tax complexities that this trend entails – should be a solid catalyst.
Boston Scientific (BSX)
A biomedical and biotechnology engineering firm, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) manufactures medical devices used in international medical specialties, including radiology and cardiology. It’s easily one of the relevant stock picks for 2024 just on its own without getting into the AI component. Analysts assign shares as a consensus strong buy with a $62.76 average price target. The high-side target clocks in at $77.
One of the more exciting arenas for digital intelligence centers on the broader medical field. For BSX specifically, it utilizes AI for medical image analyses. In addition, the company is leveraging the innovation for other functionalities within medtech, thus enhancing patient care. According to one report, the global AI healthcare market could expand at a CAGR of 40.2% to hit $173.55 billion by 2029.
As with Intuit above, BSX isn’t exactly trading at a discount with a trailing-year multiple of 70.54X. To be blunt, the company could also use some operational improvements. That said, we’re in the early innings of the AI revolution. With compelling sector growth figures, BSX ranks among the top AI stocks for 2024.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
A multinational health insurance and services firm, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) offers investors seeking broad pertinence a viable idea for stock picks for 2024. Its 52-week return only comes in at 4%. However, recent sessions have demonstrated upward mobility. Analysts give it the nod, rating shares a consensus strong buy with a $589.75 average price target. The max price forecast lands at $660.
Fundamentally, UnitedHealth applies digital intelligence to analyze medical data for risk assessment. As well, it uses the protocol for disease prediction and personalized healthcare plans. On surface level, UNH appears as one of the top AI stocks for 2024. However, the issue has aroused controversy.
Specifically, Reuters reported that a lawsuit claims UnitedHealth’s AI wrongfully denied elderly extended care. I don’t want to mention a bum note but I’d be remiss not to. Here’s the thing, though. If you’re looking at the angle from a long-term perspective, once the kinks are addressed, UNH stands to be powerfully relevant.
No, it’s not discounted either. However, with the subsector’s massive projected growth, UNH appears a solid investment.
NextEra Energy (NEE)
An energy specialist, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is a green powerhouse, yielding about 58 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity per its public profile. True, NEE lost about 27% of its equity value in the trailing 52 weeks. Still, it’s been on the move recently. Analysts peg shares a consensus moderate buy with an average price target of $67.75. The max target jumps to $84.
Primarily, NextEra leverages digital intelligence for its smart grid protocol. Per its website, the company leverages big data analytics to help maintain grid reliability. By itself, the underlying advancement offers a significant growth opportunity. For instance, Statista points out that smart grid tech reached a valuation of nearly $50 billion in 2022. By 2028, the segment could be worth $130 billion, representing a CAGR of 17.4%.
To be sure, with NEE trading at 16.27X trailing-year earnings, it’s not exactly a sterling discount. However, compared to previous quarters’ triple-digit multiples, NextEra has been relatively de-risked. Thus, it could be one of the stock picks for 2024.
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH)
Based in New Jersey, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:WH) represents one of the largest hotel franchisors in the world. Admittedly, WH has been choppy throughout 2023. Still, it managed to gain nearly 15% in the trailing 52 weeks. It’s one of the stock picks for 2024 if you anticipate a stabilized economy this year. Analysts rate shares a unanimous strong buy with an $88.57 price target.
If any enterprise can benefit from digital intelligence, it’s a hotel. With a challenging economic backdrop, the lodging industry needs to get smart. Fortunately, Wyndham is on the ball, partnering with Canary Technologies to power the hotel’s new AI-enabled guest engagement platform. It will be deployed at more than 6,000 U.S. and Canadian locations. That makes it one of the largest rollouts of guest-facing AI tech in hospitality.
Financially, Wyndham could use some work, I’m not going to shy away from this point. However, if the Federal Reserve goes through with interest rate cuts and achieves a soft landing for the economy, the boosted sentiment could lift the hospitality sector.
A name that’s synonymous with the big-box retail business, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) may be a love-it-and-hate-it name for many. Still, the one-stop-shop profile along with its everyday low pricing business model makes WMT one of the stock picks for 2024, even without mentioning AI. Unsurprisingly, analysts agree, pegging shares a consensus strong buy with an average price target of $180.79, implying almost 14% upside.
With the retail business, it’s all about giving your customers what they want, when they want it. Notably, then, Walmart introduced its AI-powered inventory system. By marrying AI and machine learning, the company was able to deliver a seamless shopping experience. Essentially, the broader system can predict shopper behaviors and other data analytics, matching the optimum inventory for in-demand products. Such protocols boost revenue while mitigating costs.
Financially, WMT is not really traded at a discount to forward earnings with a multiple of almost 23X. That said, the point here is about consistent revenue growth and annual profitability. For that, WMT ranks among the stock picks for 2024.
General Motors (GM)
An icon in the automotive world, General Motors (NYSE:GM) is synonymous with American muscle. However, these days, it’s moving aggressively into electric vehicles. As such, it ranks among the stock picks for 2024 for leveraging digital intelligence. Analysts anticipate good tidings, rating shares a moderate buy with an average target of $45.91. That implies upside of over 27%, the highest average on this list.
As with any other enterprise broadly involved in the manufacturing space, General Motors utilizes AI via robotic automation. From tasks like welding, painting and assembly, machines can simply perform a more consistent job compared to humans. Further, the company uses digital intelligence through its OnStar virtual assistant. Through advanced, intent-recognition algorithms, customers can receive immediate help. And as always, human advisors jump in during emergencies or complex customer service needs.
From a financial standpoint, GM makes a great case for AI stocks for 2024 because of its lowly forward earnings multiple of 4.63X. That might seem like a value trap. However, the combo of possible low interest rates and EV/combustion flexibility makes the discount more credible.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.