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We Asked Bard to Pick Three Stocks. Then We Took a Closer Look.

Our AI stock picker offered up Nvidia, Costco and United Healthcare.
AI stock picks united healthcare
With expertise in investment evaluation, Muslim Farooque is a respected voice in stock analytics, featured on InvestorPlace, GuruFocus, BarCharts, and Tipranks.
With expertise in investment evaluation, Muslim Farooque is a respected voice in stock analytics, featured on InvestorPlace, GuruFocus, BarCharts, and Tipranks.

On the Agenda

  • Nvidia NVDA Nvidia, primarily known for its graphics processing units (GPUs), has become the poster stock for how to capitalize on AI’s current rapid growth. GPUs, once limited to gaming, now power a range of applications from data centers to Artificial Intelligence, and Nvidia is the leader.
  • Costco Wholesale COST Costco isn’t just a retailer; it’s an experience. Its success lies not just in the products it offers but in its high-quality membership base, which advocates for the brand and contributes to its continued growth. Its stock has consistently shown resilience, often beating market averages, which speaks volumes about its business model’s robustness.
  • UnitedHealth Group UNH Beyond its core business, UnitedHealth Group’s focus on pioneering disability solutions, especially its backing of Enable Ventures, reflects a broader vision. This aligns with a holistic approach to healthcare and can be a key differentiator in the long run.

AI investment analysis is taking center stage. The digital financial-analysis revolution isn’t merely about number crunching but about accelerated data assimilation and predictive analytics. It’s a blend of algorithmic trading, risk assessment and sentiment analysis to generate holistic perspectives. 

With features like confidence scoring and regulatory compliance checks, investors will increasingly be able to make informed decisions with greater assurance. The subscription model ensures that investors always have the most up-to-date insights, while the integration of machine learning ensures that the system is always learning, always improving. 

In this article, we took a simpler path, turning to Bard, a chatbot that uses generative AI technology developed by Google. Originating from the LaMDA series of expansive language models, it later advanced with the integration of PaLM technology. Before writing this article, we asked Bard a straightforward question: Can you please recommend three stocks? Then we analyzed Bard’s picks on our own terms. 

Nvidia (NVDA)

In the semiconductor sector, Nvidia Corporation is unrivaled. Bard underscores its unmatched expertise in designing and manufacturing GPUs — and of course the pivotal roles GPUs now play in data center computing and, more significantly, in AI processing.

Nvidia chalked up a 713% return over the past five years. Clearly, this isn’t a fleeting triumph but a result of strategic foresight. In its recent financial update, the company reported a significant revenue jump — to $13.51 billion, which represents 101.5% YOY growth. Nvidia isn’t merely competing; it’s outpacing the S&P 500.

But beyond mastery of current markets, the Nvidia story is about vision and future-ready initiatives. Despite challenges like the U.S. China sanctions, the company remains undeterred — especially in Its commitment to AI and machine learning, ensuring a leading role in future developments. Even as industry dynamics continue to shift, the spotlight remains firmly on Nvidia.

Costco Wholesale (COST)

That Bard would recommend the familiar retail giant Costco Wholesale wasn’t surprising. A leader in the warehouse club retail space, Costco strength extends far beyond its vast aisles of attractively priced products. A further cornerstone of its success is its high-quality membership base — loyal shoppers and ardent brand advocates. 

The company’s 21% year-to-date return is impressive, as is the substantial revenue growth as of September 2023(a 9.5% increase to $78.94 billion). Beyond the numbers, there’s a narrative of consistency, with Costco’s stock frequently outpacing the market.

Bard’s endorsement got me pondering: In the turbulent waters of stock market investments, where unpredictability is often the only constant, could Costco be the anchoring presence that portfolios need? As leadership transitions signal a new era, with veteran CEO Craig Jelinek passing the reins to insider Ron Vachris, the company’s journey seems poised for sustained growth.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

According to Bard, UnitedHealth Group, as the largest health insurance provider in the United States, is well-positioned to reap the benefits of an aging population and ever-increasing healthcare costs. Notably, during recent market volatility, UnitedHealth’s stock showcased resilience, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a defensive anchor with genuine long-term growth potential.

Recent financials back this up, most prominently the company’s 14% year-over-year revenue growth, to $92.36 billion. Notable too: Madison Investments lately highlighted UnitedHealth in its “Madison Sustainable Equity Fund” for the third quarter of 2023, drawing attention to the insurer’s positive trajectory. UnitedHealth didn’t merely register Q3 growth but outperformed the Dow Jones Industrials Average.

Compellingly, the company has recently turned its attention to pioneering disability solutions, backing Enable Ventures, allocating a significant $5 million from its balance sheet. This investment, clearly reflecting the company’s broader vision, is set to foster innovations that aim to enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

That said, recent reports of insider stock sales of $6.6 million are worth noting, especially when considered in tandem with a 0.35% price drop in a recent trading session. UnitedHealth is primarily under the stewardship of institutional investors, with 17 such entities collectively holding 89% of the company. Such commitment is a sign of confidence but also puts a stock at the mercy of large institutions’ own strategic imperatives and close alignment with management.

On the date of publication, Muslim Farooque 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 Guidelines.

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