Can Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Become The Best AI Stock of 2024? - InvestingChannel

Can Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Become The Best AI Stock of 2024?

We recently published a list entitled Billionaire Israel Englander’s Top 10 Stock Picks for 2024. Since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ranks 3rd in the list, it deserves a deeper look.

Billionaire Israel Englander is one of the most notable hedge fund managers in America. He founded Millennium Management back in 1989. Today, the fund’s portfolio is worth over $234 billion. Englander nabbed the top spot in Bloomberg’s list of highest-earning hedge fund managers in 2023, with a whopping $2.8 billion in net earnings including gains from personal investments and fees. Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that Izzy Englander’s Millennium Management earned $600 million from commodities investments last year. However, in a separate report, the publication said despite installing a new chief of its commodities and making big changes, Millennium’s commodities business is lagging behind Citadel (of billionaire Ken Griffin) which made a whopping $8 billion from commodities in 2022. Bloomberg said, citing sources, that part of the reason why Millennium is struggling to post big gains is billionaire Englander’s imposition of “tight guardrails” to limit losses.  To make money in the commodities business, experts say, you have to take risks and give some freedom to traders. But Englander likes to be in control.  A Financial Times report earlier this year said Millennium Management manages a whopping $60 billion in assets, employs 5,400 people and has 17 offices. Yet Englander owns 100% of the firm.

The report said, citing a person who works at the fund, that this major concentration is “not a good idea.”

The FT report said Englander’s fund was up 8.3% in 2023 through October, while it returned 12.5% in 2022,  13.6% in 2021 and an impressive 25.9% in 2020.

For this article, we scanned Millennium Management’s Q1 portfolio and picked the fund’s top 10 holdings. Why are we interested in the stocks that hedge funds pile into? The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter’s strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see more details here).

Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Billionaire Israel Englander's Top Stock Pick for 2024? Israel Englander of Millennium Management

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Billionaire Israel Englander’s Stake Value: $1,311,099,383

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally entered the AI party with a bang, announcing new AI plans that many believe would create a strong ecosystem around the company’s software and hardware products. As a result, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares added over $215 billion in market cap and closed at a record high on June 11. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a fresh note that Apple has a competitive edge over others with its on-device AI.

 “Consumers may find purchasing Microsoft’s AI PC confusing (calculating whether it reaches 40 TOPS before purchase), whereas Apple directly tells consumers which models can support Apple Intelligence. Regardless of whether on-device AI applications meet consumer needs, Apple has a clear selling advantage from the start,” Kuo said.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is trading at 27x its 2025 EPS estimate, which is still a high multiple given the company’s 9.60% growth estimate for 2025 and 10.50% per-annum growth expected over the next five years. But all of that could change if Apple is able to actually implement and convert the AI features it recently announced at WWDC.

Dan Ives of Wedbush, one of the biggest Apple bulls, recently said that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be able to create an ecosystem around its AI offerings and the company would see a $30 to $40 per share surge because of its AI products. Ives has a $275 price target on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares.

The first signs of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) AI capabilities are here. Last month, the company revealed new M4-powered iPad Pro and claimed that its devices, powered by Neural Engine,  will be “more powerful than any neural processing unit in any AI PC today.” Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Neural Engine is the company’s neural processing unit (NPU) that accelerates AI workloads.

Notable Wall Street analyst and Deepwater Asset Management Managing Partner recently made waves when he said in a post on Twitter that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a better investment than Nvidia for the long term. Munster believes “owning Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) over the next year will have a higher return because the market is in denial about Apple’s AI potential.

RiverPark Large Growth Fund stated the following regarding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in its first quarter 2024 investor letter:

“Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Apple shares were a top detractor in the quarter. The company’s stock was pressured by negative news items including a government antitrust case, an Apple Watch patent dispute, and slowing China iPhone sales. Ultimately the company’s fiscal 1Q24 earnings report delivered a slightly better than expected quarter, but with guidance that disappointed investors. 1Q24 revenue and gross margin were better than feared, buoyed by stronger than expected worldwide iPhone sales which grew 6% despite a slight decline in China iPhone sales. Services revenue in the quarter was as expected and signaled the third quarter in a row of accelerating growth. Gross margins were also stronger than expected at 45.9%, the highest level in more than a decade. Guidance of $90 billion of revenue for 2Q24 was light however, due to weaker than expected iPhone sales in the current period and year-over-year declines in other hardware products facing difficult year-over year comps.

Although near-term trends are a bit muted, Apple is carrying lean inventory into an iPhone refresh cycle later this year. With an installed base of 2.2 billion active devices and significant growth of the company’s recurring revenue Services segment, we believe that Apple remains one of the most innovative, best positioned and most profitable companies in the mobile technology industry.”

Overall, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ranks 3rd on Insider Monkey’s list of Billionaire Israel Englander’s Top 10 Stock Picks for 2024. You can visit Billionaire Israel Englander’s Top 10 Stock Picks for 2024 to see other stocks in the list. While we acknowledge the potential of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), our conviction lies in the belief that AI stocks hold greater promise for delivering higher returns, and doing so within a shorter timeframe. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

READ NEXT: Michael Burry Is Selling These Stocks and Jim Cramer is Recommending These Stocks.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.

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