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Top Artificial Intelligence Semiconductor Stock to Purchase Without Thinking

The artificial intelligence (AI) boom is far from over. The most recent quarterly earnings results from AI chip leader Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) are a testament to that. The chipmaker not only exceeded already astronomical revenue and earnings expectations, but its guidance beat Wall Street analysts’ best guess, too.

But the competition is coming for Nvidia — not only from other chipmakers but from some of its biggest customers. All the big tech companies buying Nvidia chips are also developing their own chip designs for AI. That makes an investment in Nvidia, especially at its current price, riskier than average.

What’s more, we’ll eventually see a shift in the types of chips needed for AI. While companies are currently spending heavily to train AI models, eventually we’ll need chips capable of running AI applications on the devices we use every day, like phones, laptops, and (just maybe) augmented reality headsets. And that’s a whole different animal than the kinds of chips Nvidia is making.

But there’s one company that can benefit from growing demand for all types of semiconductors from just about every chipmaker in the world. Its stock trades at a very attractive price compared to some soaring names in the AI semiconductor industry. That makes it a no-brainer buy in my book.

The one AI semiconductor stock to buy right now

If I could own just one semiconductor stock right now, it would be Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM). TSMC is the largest contract chip manufacturer in the world, and it boasts big clients including Nvidia and Apple.

What makes TSMC an attractive company to own is that it has a sustainable competitive advantage. It’s developed processes that only one other chip manufacturer can compete with, and it currently sits years ahead of the rest of the pack. That makes it the partner of choice for almost every chip designer developing leading-edge semiconductors.

TSMC’s advantage creates a virtuous cycle. Because it’s able to manufacture chips for big companies like Nvidia and Apple at scale, it wins an outsize portion of contracts. That gives it the capital necessary to reinvest in the next-generation processes to win the next group of chip designs.

That said, developing leading-edge chip manufacturing methods isn’t just a matter of throwing more money at the challenge. There are numerous technical hurdles involved, and that requires management to prioritize the various areas where its processes could be improved. TSMC’s longtime CEO, C.C. Wei, has done an exceptional job of that.

AI will drive results in 2024 and beyond

The growing use of AI can only be sustainably supported by more powerful and energy-efficient chip designs. That requires leading-edge chips like the ones only TSMC is capable of producing. As a result, management believes “the value of TSMC technology position is increasing, and we are all well positioned to capture the major portion of the market in terms of semiconductor component in AI,” as noted on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

That’s already playing out in the interest levels it’s seeing for its next-generation N2 designs. Management said customer interest and engagement for N2 is much higher than it was for N3 (the current generation) at a similar stage of development. TSMC expects to start volume production for N2 in 2025, ramping up in 2026.

Executives see AI-related applications driving substantial growth for the business through 2027, going from a single-digit percentage of revenue today to the high teens. That guidance is an increase from previous comments that AI would account for a percentage of revenue in the low teens. When asked to confirm that high-teens guidance, Wei responded, “Or higher.”

Compared to high-flying semiconductor stocks, TSMC is relatively cheap. Shares trade for 22.5 times analysts’ consensus estimate for 2024 earnings. That’s in line with the S&P 500. While the stock has produced exceptional returns at the start of the year thanks in part to its strong earnings results and favorable outlook, there’s still room for the shares to climb higher as AI propels TSMC’s growth long-term.

Should you invest $1,000 in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing right now?

Before you buy stock in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, consider this:

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor analyst team just identified what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy now… and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing wasn’t one of them. The 10 stocks that made the cut could produce monster returns in the coming years.

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Adam Levy has positions in Apple and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple, Nvidia, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 No-Brainer Artificial Intelligence (AI) Semiconductor Stock to Buy Right Now was originally published by The Motley Fool.

Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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