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Strategic Partnerships Build Up the Bull Case for C3.ai

In mid-April, I offered a hearty recommendation in favor of enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) firm C3.ai (NYSE:AI). I truly believed that a turnaround in AI stock was long overdue.

a visual representation of the data underlying an artificial intelligence (AI) powered solution
Source: Shutterstock

The thing is, oversold stocks can continue going down. It might be rational or not, and we can pound the table all day long, but it is what it is.

I’ll accept the blame for my ill-timed call on AI stock. Yet, I’ll continue to pound the table as the company’s machine learning applications represent the future of enterprise technology, even if they’re not fully appreciated today.

That’s long-term thinking, I’ll admit. Even in the short term, though, there are developments – and specifically, meaningful collaborations – which should bode well for C3.ai.

A Closer Look at AI Stock

Let’s rewind to December of 2020, when C3.ai priced its initial public offering (IPO) at $42 a share.

Hype can cause unbelievable things to happen on Wall Street, it seems. Incredibly, AI shares opened for trading at $100 on the morning of Dec. 9 and went as high as $115, representing a 174% gain from the $42 IPO price.

The hype phase persisted for a few more weeks, with the stock rocketing to a 52-week high of $183.90 on Dec. 22.

Then came the meltdown. It’s been a textbook example of why I don’t recommend chasing stocks during after they’ve gone parabolic.

Starting in February of 2021, AI stock relentless declined, eventually landing at $59.18 on June 18.

At that time, C3.ai had trailing 12-month earnings per share of -$0.93. That’s not deeply negative for a $59-ish stock, but undoubtedly the stakeholders would like to see that number turn positive in 2021.

Power-Packed Partnerships

However, simply hoping that C3.ai’s fiscal stats will improve, isn’t a viable strategy. Some sort of change – a positive catalyst or two – will be needed.

Thankfully, it appears that the company is leveraging the power of collaboration to bolster its fiscal prospects.

One partnership in particular offers the promise of a global market presence for C3.ai.

Reportedly, the company plans to work with technology services provider NCS to deliver enterprise AI solutions to clients in Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand.

There’s an opportunity for both geographic and segment diversification as the enterprise AI solutions will be delivered across multiple industries, including financial services, telecommunications, government and transportation.

Interestingly, this collaboration represents C3.ai’s first foray into the telecommunications industry – but it’s an ambitious one.

Gartner’s 2021 Global CIO Agenda survey found that Southeast Asia and Australia/New Zealand were among the world’s fastest-growing regions to apply digitalization to optimize enterprise processes.

So, the C3.ai-NCS partnership is clearly a right-time, right-place endeavor that offers robust profit potential for both parties and their stakeholders.

Deeper into the Cloud

The same thing could also be said about C3.ai’s recently announced strategic tie-up with data cloud company Snowflake (NYSE:SNOW).

According to the agreement, Snowflake’s customers will have access to C3.ai’s AI Suite and pre-built AI applications.

With that, C3.ai’s machine-learning-enhanced tools will be introduced to a sizable swath of new users.

At the end of fiscal 2021 (which already ended in January), Snowflake served 186 Fortune 500 companies. So, a number of big-ticket clients count on Snowflake for the company’s cloud-based architecture.

Hence, this strategic partnership is a big win for C3.ai – but really, it’s a win-win as Snowflake can benefit from C3.ai’s applications, which address a broad range of industries and use cases.

The Bottom Line

When the going gets tough, find some high-value partners to work and expand with.

That’s not a bad strategy, and it should provide a much-needed shot in the arm for C3.ai’s shareholders.

And just maybe, it will be enough to put AI stock back on the right path.

On the date of publication, David Moadel did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2021/06/strategic-partnerships-build-up-the-bull-case-for-ai-stock/.

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