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A Once-in-a-Generation Investment Opportunity: 2 Highly Recommended AI Growth Stocks to Buy Now and Hold Forever

Motley Fool - Tue Nov 7, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for years, but recent advances have made the technology more powerful and more compelling than ever, spotlighting its revolutionary potential. Indeed, some experts are calling AI the fourth industrial revolution.

The first three industrial revolutions were brought on by steam power, electricity, and digital technologies like computers and the internet. Those innovations changed the very fabric of daily life, and AI promises to have a similar impact. That hints at immense value creation, putting investors in front of a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

The most prudent way to benefit is to build a basket of AI stocks, and Wall Street is particularly bullish on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Docebo (NASDAQ: DCBO). Both stocks carry a consensus rating of buy and neither has a single sell recommendation at the present time.

Here's what investors should know about these highly recommended growth stocks.

1. Amazon

Amazon supplanted Apple as the world's most valuable brand in 2023, according to consultancy Brand Finance. That recognition reflects its strong presence in three large markets. Amazon runs the most visited online marketplace in the world, and its unmatched ability to source shopper data has snowballed into a booming adtech business. Additionally, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader in cloud computing.

That last point is particularly relevant. Leadership in cloud computing positions Amazon as a major player in the burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) market. CEO Andy Jassy explained why during the second-quarter earnings call: "People want to bring generative AI models to the data, not the other way around. AWS not only has the broadest array of storage, database, analytics, and data management services for customers, it also has more customers and data stores than anybody else."

Innovation at all three layers of the AI stack should help AWS reinforce its strong position. At the infrastructure layer, Amazon is designing its own chips for AI training and inference as a cheaper (and less powerful) alternative to Nvidia graphics processing units. At the services layer, Amazon recently launched its Bedrock suite of pretrained models that lets businesses build custom generative AI applications. At the software layer, Amazon recently launched its AI-enabled coding companion CodeWhisperer to help software developers work more productively.

Amazon delivered a solid financial performance in the third quarter. Revenue rose 13% to $143 billion on strong momentum in retail and advertising, and net income according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) more than tripled to reach $9.9 billion as the company continued to improve its cost structure.

Amazon is well positioned to maintain that momentum. Through 2030, retail e-commerce sales are expected to grow at 8.1% annually, adtech spend is expected to grow at 13.7% annually, and cloud computing revenue is expected to grow at 14.1% annually. That points to low-double-digit revenue growth for Amazon and, indeed, Morningstar analyst Dan Romanoff is forecasting revenue growth of 11% annually through 2027.

It is possible that Amazon grows more quickly -- Jim Kelleher of Argus Research sees AWS as "uniquely positioned" to benefit from the AI-as-a-service market -- but even the baseline projection makes its current valuation of 2.6 times sales look quite reasonable. That's why investors should include this growth stock in their AI basket.

2. Docebo

Docebo specializes in corporate learning. Its platform allows businesses to create, deliver, and measure the impact of learning content across internal (employees) and external (customers, partners, suppliers) audiences. One particularly innovative application is Docebo Shape, a generative AI product that automates content creation by transforming virtually any source material -- from documents and articles to case studies and presentations -- into learning content.

Docebo has long been at the forefront of the corporate learning market. It was among the first companies to bring AI to its learning management system, and analysts have consistently ranked Docebo as a major player in the industry. To quote a recent report from Morgan Stanley, "Docebo is not only disrupting the internal learning management system market, taking share from legacy vendors, but it is also leading the market in a greenfield external learning opportunity."

Docebo delivered a solid financial report in the second quarter. Its customer count climbed 16% to 3,591, including the addition of an unnamed customer that is almost certainly Alphabet's Google. In turn, revenue rose 25% year over year to $43.6 million and the company reported adjusted net income of $4.7 million, up from a small loss a year earlier.

Docebo values its addressable market at $38 billion in 2026 and the company is leaning into automation to capitalize on that opportunity. Of particular note, Docebo announced new features for its generative AI application (Shape) that will launch in 2024, including virtual role play that provides learners with solution-specific simulations and real-time feedback, and an integrated copilot that further simplifies the creation of learning content.

On that note, strategist Josh Baer of Morgan Stanley sees Docebo as one of the software companies best positioned to monetize generative AI, and he expects Docebo to grow revenue at 17% annually through 2033. That forecast makes its current valuation of 9.2 times sales look very reasonable, especially when the three-year average is 15.4 times sales. That's why investors should add a small position in Docebo to their basket of AI stocks.

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Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Trevor Jennewine has positions in Amazon and Nvidia. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Docebo, and Nvidia. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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