Nvidia: The Best Is Yet to Come

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Nvidia stock is a rulebreaker.

Over the past 10 years, Nvidia (NVDA -0.07%), the superchip manufacturer, has delivered remarkable returns, significantly outperforming the S&P 500 index.

A mere $1,000 invested in Nvidia during this period has ballooned into a mountain of cash exceeding $255,000. In contrast, an equivalent investment in a broad-market exchange-traded fund (ETF), such as the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, would be worth a far more modest sum of around $3,300 today.

However, Nvidia’s meteoric rise has elevated its valuation to nosebleed levels. With a forward price-to-earnings ratio of nearly 47, the stock is richly priced compared with the S&P 500. After all, this benchmark index trades at around 21 times forward earnings.

Image Source: Getty Images.

In this context, Nvidia’s stock may appear overly risky and due for a reversion to the mean. This way of thinking fails to capture Nvidia’s radical value proposition and severely underestimates the revolutionary changes to society that are extremely close at hand.

The technological singularity and Nvidia’s role

Nvidia’s significance extends beyond financial metrics. The company’s first-class graphics processing units (GPUs) and parallel computing platform, CUDA, are pivotal in humanity’s relentless pursuit of the “technological singularity.”

Coined by John von Neumann in 1958, this concept describes when artificial intelligence (AI), fueled by machine learning algorithms, surpasses human cognitive abilities. It’s the point where the boundary between humanity and computers blurs.

While experts debate the exact timing of this event, there’s broad consensus that it will indeed occur. Nvidia’s GPUs, operating at unprecedented speeds, could accelerate the achievement of artificial general intelligence (AGI) within a matter of months from now.

AGI represents an AI system capable of understanding, learning, and applying knowledge across diverse tasks–a milestone that will reshape our world. This milestone is widely expected to unlock an “intelligence explosion”, paving the way toward technological singularity.

Artificial superintelligence and the imminent future

Beyond AGI lies artificial superintelligence (AST), where AI systems exceed human cognitive capabilities across all domains.

What’s critical to understand is that AST could arrive far sooner than expected. Some experts predict we’ll witness this transformative leap by the decade’s end, largely driven by Nvidia’s Blackwell super-chips and CUDA software platform.

Now, pessimists think this event is unlikely to occur before 2050, and others argue it is technically impossible for reasons beyond the scope of this article. But there’s growing evidence that this bear thesis is more of a failure of imagination, rather than a clear-headed take on the events unfolding in front of our very eyes.

The big picture

For investors, the essential insight is that Nvidia is pioneering new frontiers. Despite the stock’s high valuation by traditional standards, Nvidia’s recent progress suggests it might be time to reconsider conventional financial metrics.

At COMPUTEX 2024, CEO Jensen Huang’s keynote address highlighted Nvidia’s innovative Blackwell ecosystem and previewed transformative technologies like AI-driven manufacturing and advanced robotics.

This presentation supports the argument that Nvidia’s current market valuation, close to $3 trillion, might not fully reflect its potential, perhaps by orders of magnitude.

Key takeaways

Although geopolitical tensions, like the hypothetical conflict between the U.S. and China over Taiwan and its semiconductor industry, could pose important risks, the invention of AGI, AST, and the technological singularity seems like a foregone conclusion at this advanced stage.

Moreover, there is growing evidence that would-be competitors like Advanced Micro Devices and Intel are too far behind to challenge Nvidia’s dominance in this exponentially growing industry seriously.

Not only are switching costs enormously high, but Nvidia has lapped its competitors multiple times over the prior 10 years. There’s no compelling reason to think this dynamic will change – even though some analysts have argued that companies may want to diversify the field to avoid over-reliance on one chip designer.

Nvidia, in short, seems poised to deliver extraordinary returns over the next five to 10 years as the AI revolution sallies forth at ludicrous speed.

George Budwell has positions in Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia, and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF. The Motley Fool recommends Intel and recommends the following options: long January 2025 $45 calls on Intel and short August 2024 $35 calls on Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.