If you didn’t jump on Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), Palantir (NYSE:PLTR), or any of the other big-name AI stocks this year, don’t worry. You haven’t missed your chance because many smaller AI companies are flying under the radar. What’s more, some have been at the forefront of AI development for years, but markets haven’t yet recognized their potential.
In many cases, the best AI stocks to buy soon are those bringing artificial intelligence to less-exciting sectors. It’s easy to get pumped for generative AI since users can create their own art or find recipes in a way not seen before. But, from a long-term perspective, AI stocks focusing on core business use will likely offer the biggest returns.
Symbotic (NASDAQ:SYM) is bringing AI to one of the least exciting sectors — warehouse management. But, while it may not capture investors’ imagination like an AI-generated movie might, blue chip companies are swarming.
Thus far, Symbotic’s AI-enabled warehouse robotics are used by massive companies like Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT). That corporate excitement should be enough to buoy investor confidence, but the AI stock is expanding its scope.
Last month, the company began developing a similar tool aimed at much smaller companies. Specifically, Symbotic’s new AI-managed warehouse system is set to be used in shared-use facilities or those where multiple small companies run operations. The move will expand Symbotic’s total addressable market substantially. Warehouse and storage facilities are rapidly growing, and the pivot to smaller servicer scopes means that the company is ready to seize an untapped sector.
UiPath (NYSE:PATH) is also bringing AI into less-exciting sectors. PATH offers robotics automation and AI to human resource and administrative segments globally. While not necessarily a sector you’d expect to see massive growth, UiPath is one of Cathie Wood’s favorite AI stocks to buy soon. In one interview, she said that UiPath is “helping companies automate the most mundane administrative tasks in their companies.” Better yet, UiPath’s tools are infinitely adaptable to companies in many industries or sectors. That makes the company a one-stop shop for administrative AI management. Its platform is already compatible with Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), OpenAI and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) web services.
UiPath also stands out among AI stocks based on financial strength. In a recent report, the company’s recurring revenue grew 25%, with total year-over-year revenue hitting 19% growth. Shares are up nearly 50% this year, but PATH remains an AI stock to buy soon before it achieves wider market dominance.
Chegg (NYSE:CHGG) is bringing AI to an overlooked sector — EdTech. Recently, the company partnered with Scale AI to personalize learning and tailor outputs to improve individual student outcomes. In an era where public school students outnumber teachers by a large margin, instructors have difficulty effectively addressing each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Chegg effectively targets that gap, and its AI tools could help struggling students succeed while keeping academically-minded kids engaged.
Beyond AI opportunities, Chegg is also shareholder-friendly. The company recently unveiled its newest $200 million share buyback program. AI stocks generally focus on growth and neglect shareholder value in pursuit of expansion. Chegg is unique in this respect, as the company’s multiple segments are mature enough to offer financial cushion while it expands its AI emphasis. Both facts — proactive growth emphasis and financial stability through segment maturity — make Chegg unique among AI stocks.
On the date of publication, Jeremy Flint held no positions (directly or indirectly) in the securities mentioned. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.