Enterprise AI software developer C3.ai (NASDAQ:AI) delivered its first earnings report as a public company on Monday. While the numbers were pretty good, it missed expectations on billings. This miss on the all-important billings figure spooked investors, causing AI stock to peel off 15% after the print. Not a great start for C3.ai on the earnings front.
But rest assured bulls, this weakness in AI stock is short-lived and overdone.
The billings miss is largely inconsequential to the big-picture, long-term growth narrative underlying C3.ai. That long-term growth narrative is built on the idea that the enterprise software AI market is going to be enormous at scale, and that C3.ai projects as the unrivaled leader in this huge market.
In the quarter, C3.ai strengthened that bull thesis through new partnerships, new products, new talent and new models.
As such, long-term investors should ignore the noise. This dip in AI stock is a golden buying opportunity. Within 12 months, this stock will be up at $200.
Here’s a deeper look.
AI Stock: Strong Earnings Report
Wall Street is hyperfocused on C3.ai’s billing miss in the quarter. And reasonably so …
AI stock is very richly valued, which set it up to need a “perfect” report to go higher. The billings miss was a rather large imperfection. So, it makes sense that AI stock dropped.
But it’s also a very short-sighted way of looking at things.
Zooming out, C3.ai is in the midst of developing, scaling and deploying enterprise AI applications that could fundamentally change how companies of all shapes and sizes manage their businesses over the next decade.
A minor billings miss in 3Q21 doesn’t really impact that big-picture narrative.
Instead, what you want to see out of C3.ai is a company that is doing everything right to secure leadership in this soon-to-be-huge enterprise AI software market.
That’s exactly what we did see in the quarter.
The Early Leader in Enterprise AI
C3.ai signed new customers in the quarter. The company is now helping Raytheon improve its defense and intelligence communities, FIS improve is banking and financial services and Infor enhance its ERP offerings.
The company also launched new products in the quarter, including:
- C3 AI v.7.17, which offers significant functional enhancements, performance improvements, and a new Integrated Development Suite to accelerate AI application development.
- C3 AI CRM, a family of industry-specific AI-enabled CRM applications.
- C3 AI Ex Machina, a mass-market, cloud-native, low-code/no-code application where anyone can use the power of AI by simply clicking and dragging boxes.
On top of all that, C3.ai added multiple new, experienced Board Members, hired 60 new full-time employees (out of 17,000+ job applicants in the quarter), and expanded its data and modeling ecosystem to 770 unique source data integrations and 4.8 machine learning models in-production.
All in all, C3.ai did everything right to only enhance and strengthen its early leadership position in the enterprise AI software market. That has long-term bullish implications for AI stock.
Huge Opportunity for C3.ai
The opportunity for C3.ai over the next decade is enormous.
It all boils down to three things.
- Every business in the world is going to be forced to harness the power of AI over the next decade to improve business functions (else risk being left behind).
- Those AI applications are very hard to develop and scale.
- Companies will increasingly outsource AI application development, and in so doing, they will increasingly select C3.ai as their enterprise AI software provider.
The secret sauce here is C3.ai’s novel model-driven architecture, which represents a promising paradigm shift in the AI application development process.
The company has pre-built multiple, highly scalable AI models in its ecosystem, and allows customers to build their own AI models by simply editing these pre-built models and stacking them on top of one another.
In other words, if building an AI application is a puzzle, C3.ai gives companies the pieces to easily make that puzzle.
In so doing, C3.ai is pioneering a new era of democratized AI applications that any company — from any industry and of any size — can use to enhance their business.
The inherent advantage here is that C3.ai builds these models on top of data provided by and shared among customers. The more customers, therefore, the more data integrations C3.ai wins, and the smarter its AI models become. It’s a durable data advantage, which means that C3.ai is presently able to make, scale and deploy the best enterprise AI software models in the market.
That is a winning foundation upon which AI stock will morph into a big-time winner.
Big Upside for C3.ai Stock
Interestingly enough, even though AI stock is dropping big today, two Wall Street firms — Wedbush and Needham — both raised their price targets on AI stock to about $200 after the print, calling the earnings drop an overreaction.
I think investors should listen to those analysts.
My numbers also indicate that AI stock is worth about $200 today. That’s based on the company’s robust earnings growth potential over the next decade as C3.ai becomes quasi-ubiquitous in the enterprise software world.
Thus, Wedbush, Needham, and myself are all in agreement that AI stock will double over the next twelve months.
Either we’re all wrong — or this is a great buying opportunity into a high-quality growth stock.
Bottom Line on AI Stock
With 100% upside potential over the next year, AI stock is one of my favorite growth stocks to buy today.
But it’s not the best growth stock to buy today.
Instead, the best growth stock to buy today is a company that reminds me of a young Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). Indeed, I think buying this stock today could be like buying AMZN stock back in 1997 — before it soared thousands of percent.
Which stock am I talking about?
On the date of publication, Luke Lango did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
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