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These 2 Stocks Are Moving Higher -- and Just 1 Is an AI Play

Motley Fool - Tue Jun 6, 2023

The stock market was quiet Tuesday morning, with stock index futures on most major benchmarks easing slightly lower before the opening bell. At this point, many investors are playing a waiting game to see whether the economy maintains its current strength even as inflationary pressures subside. That could lead to periods of calm conditions until big news shakes things up again.

Underneath the surface, though, some individual stocks are making big moves. Artificial intelligence (AI) remains a key focal point of investors' attention, and GitLab (NASDAQ: GTLB) joined the ranks of AI stocks garnering approval from shareholders. Yet you don't have to like AI in order to find winners on Wall Street, as Thor Industries (NYSE: THO) also managed to post solid gains. Here's the scoop on both stocks.

GitLab says the magic words

Shares of GitLab soared almost 30% in premarket trading Tuesday morning. The development, security, and operations (DevSecOps) software platform provider released fiscal first-quarter financial results for the period ended April 30 that highlighted how the company plans to attack the AI opportunity.

GitLab's financial numbers showed solid growth. Revenue jumped 45% year over year to $127 million. Adjusted losses narrowed to $8.8 million, or $0.06 per share. The company saw a big influx of major customers, with 760 of its customers spending more than $100,000 on the GitLab platform, up 39% from 12 months ago. A dollar-based net retention rate of 128% showed that existing clients are also making greater use of the software.

Co-founder/CEO Sid Sijbrandij bragged that the GitLab platform has more features powered by artificial intelligence than any other DevSecOps platform. The GitLab strategy involves eventually incorporating AI throughout the software development process, starting as early as the planning stage and moving forward to rollout and maintenance activities. Partnerships with major tech companies also should help GitLab's AI efforts gain steam.

Investors were pleased to see GitLab's guidance for the full year, which includes revenue of $541 million to $543 million and an adjusted loss of $0.14 to $0.18 per share. Eventually, GitLab needs to reach profitability, but AI-focused shareholders seem willing to forgo that for now in favor of faster sales growth.

Thor keeps rolling down the highway

Also moving higher, Thor Industries picked up nearly 11% in premarket trading. The RV manufacturer's fiscal third-quarter financial report for the period ended April 30 showed considerable resilience in the face of tough macroeconomic conditions.

Thor's numbers weren't pretty. Revenue plunged 37% year over year to $2.93 billion, and gross margin slipped considerably. Net income fell an even steeper 65% to $121 million, working out to $2.24 per share.

Thor saw a huge disparity across its geographical footprint. In North America, business conditions were dire, as towable RV sales fell 57% and order backlogs were down a whopping 89% to just $757 million. Motorized RVs in North America held up slightly better, but segment revenue was still down 24% as order backlogs fell nearly 70%. However, in Europe, RV sales actually rose 20%, with a corresponding 21% increase in backlogged orders pointing to better times ahead.

Yet shareholders seemed to grab onto the idea that Thor has now helped RV dealers work through their inventory backlog and should be able to recover from here. With Thor guiding toward the lower half of its previous sales guidance but boosting the lower end of its earnings projections, investors are optimistic that the end of the slump is in sight and that better times lie ahead.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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