Best Stocks of 2017: Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) Stock Is Just Getting Started

Editor’s note: This column is part of our Best Stocks for 2017 contest. Louis Navellier’s pick for the contest is Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA).

Best Stocks of 2017: Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) Stock Is Just Getting StartedHalfway through 2017, Nvidia has made a stunning comeback. After a lackluster first quarter, NVDA shined during Q2, despite the best efforts of some unscrupulous short sellers.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, NVDA is the new Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Energy-efficient graphics chips dominate cell phones, tablets and computers.

In addition, video games are much more capable now thanks to Nvidia’s graphic chips. And all of those smart, artificial intelligence chips that are invading your vehicle come largely from NVDA.

Business is booming, as demonstrated in Nvidia’s latest earnings report. Last quarter, revenue soared 48% year-over-year to $1.94 billion, above the $1.91 billion consensus estimate. First-quarter earnings per share surged 85% year-over-year to 85 cents. The consensus estimate was for 67 cents EPS, so NVDA posted a stunning 26.9% earnings surprise.

And NVDA stock shows no signs of slowing down. Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU), China’s internet giant, is partnering with Nvidia to expand its artificial intelligence-powered cloud services. In the self-driving car arena, Nvidia teamed up with German car parts manufactures ZF and Bosch to develop new automatic driving systems. It’s also working with Audi (OTCMKTS:AUDVF) to bring highly automated vehicles to market by 2020. These partnerships put NVDA stock in an excellent position to be courted by other auto manufacturers.

Nvidia shares have tremendous upside potential, but are also the target of some unscrupulous short sellers. In June, Citron Research claimed that NVDA would pull back to $130 in 2017. That claim was simply ridiculous. If you remember back to December, Citron is the same short-seller that claimed that NVDA would head to $90 in 2017. Firms like Citron wait for thin market conditions — like in the final hours of the trading week — to hit stocks.

Citron was wrong back in December and it was wrong in June. So I don’t trust Citron Research’s motivations at all. What I do trust are the opinions of established analysts who don’t try to manipulate the market. And Citron is clearly in the minority when it comes to NVDA.

Lately, NVDA has been experiencing wave-after-wave of positive analyst attention. Over the past few weeks, analysts from Citi Research, Argus, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs have all reiterated their “buy” ratings and raised their price targets. Pacific Crest also upgraded NVDA to “sector weight.” Notably, Citi Research analyst Atif Malik claimed that NVDA shares could even reach $300 if it’s able to capture 50% of the data center and auto chip markets.

Bottom Line on NVDA Stock

While it may take a few years for NVDA to reach $300 per share, the company has some tremendous near-term prospects. For the current quarter, analysts are calling for 36.8% sales growth and 72.5% earnings growth. For the whole fiscal year, the consensus estimate is for 19.5% sales growth and 20.2% earnings growth.

While NVDA stock has appreciated quite a bit, it still trades at about 40 times forecasted earnings. That’s within normal range for the industry.

As we enter the “dog days of summer” for the stock market, I wouldn’t be surprised to see short sellers like Citron take advantage of thin market conditions to try to knock down NVDA. However, any and all near-term pullbacks should be considered buying opportunities.

This company is at the forefront of several powerful technology trends, including self-driving cars, virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Heading into the second half of 2017, I am as confident as ever that NVDA is my top stock for the year.

Louis Navellier is a renowned growth investor. He is the editor of five investing newsletters: Blue Chip Growth, Emerging Growth, Ultimate Growth, Family Trust and Platinum Growth. His most popular service, Blue Chip Growth, has a track record of beating the market 3:1 over the last 14 years. He uses a combination of quantitative and fundamental analysis to identify market-beating stocks. Mr. Navellier has made his proven formula accessible to investors via his free, online stock rating tool, Louis Navellier may hold some of the aforementioned securities in one or more of his newsletters.

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