Shares of Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) have delivered incredible returns of 193% to investors in the past year, and a big chunk of those gains can be attributed to the booming demand for the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) chips.
After all, Nvidia’s top and bottom lines started growing at an eye-popping pace thanks to the AI-fueled demand for its graphics processing units (GPUs). The chipmaker’s revenue is expected to double in the current fiscal year to $54 billion, which would be a massive jump over the flat revenue growth it clocked in the previous fiscal year.
However, the big surge in Nvidia stock means that investors will now have to pay 97 times trailing earnings and 31 times sales if they wish to buy the shares. Those are extremely rich multiples, though it cannot be denied that the company can justify them by sustaining its terrific growth. But investors who aren’t comfortable paying rich multiples for Nvidia stock have an option to capitalize on the proliferation of AI in the form of Opera (NASDAQ: OPRA).
Opera stock could get a nice boost following its latest results
Shares of the web browser company are up an incredible 175% in the past year. But they are down more than 40% since mid-July on the news that Opera is looking to raise $300 million by offering new shares. However, the sharp decline in Opera stock over the past three and a half months indicates that the news of a fresh stock offering may already be priced in. The stock shot up more than 10% on Oct. 26 after it released better-than-expected quarterly results.
It won’t be surprising to see Opera stock regain its mojo and go on another parabolic run after its latest report. A parabolic move refers to a rapid jump in the shares of a company in a short period of time — similar to the right side of a parabolic curve on a chart — and Opera investors have already seen that happen before the stock lost steam in July this year.
The stock currently carries a 12-month median price target of $20 according to a consensus of four analysts covering the stock, indicating a 72% jump from recent levels.
The Street-high price target of $23 suggests that Opera stock could jump 93% from where it is at this writing. The good part is that Opera could indeed deliver such impressive gains given its healthy pace of growth.
Opera’s third-quarter revenue was up 20% year over year to $102.6 million, exceeding the higher end of its guidance range of $97 million to $100 million. This was the 11th consecutive quarter of 20%-plus revenue growth for Opera and was well above the 15% growth that the company was originally anticipating during the quarter.
The company also reported an adjusted profit of $0.18 per share in Q3, more than double the year-ago period’s reading of $0.08 per share.
The company’s better-than-expected growth was driven by a 24% year-over-year jump in advertising revenue, while search revenue was up 15%. Opera witnessed a healthy year-over-year jump of 24% in average revenue per user (ARPU) to $1.31.
In addition, Opera has raised its full-year revenue forecast to a range of $394 million to $397 million from the prior range of $380 million to $390 million. The company now anticipates full-year revenue to increase 20% from 2022 levels. It has also increased its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) guidance to $89 million at the midpoint from the earlier expectation of $82 million.
AI could drive stronger monetization
A key reason Opera has been able to sustain strong growth levels is because of the improved monetization of its services. It is worth noting that the company’s ARPU has jumped 3 times over the past four years, and the trend is likely to continue thanks to Opera’s focus on integrating generative AI into its browser and advertising platforms.
Opera has integrated ChatGPT into the sidebar of its browser. It offers both GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 large language models. While GPT-3.5 is available for free, users have the option to upgrade to GPT-4 by paying a subscription of $20 per month.
Additionally, Opera also offers its in-house chatbot — Aria — along with ChatGPT in its browser.
So, users can simply use Opera’s sidebar to launch chatbots and punch in text prompts to gain contextual insights for their queries. What’s more, Opera users can highlight the text on a webpage and use Aria to gain more insights about the topic they are researching. The generative AI chatbot also allows users to translate text right from the webpage.
Opera has made a smart move by integrating chatbots within its browser as this will allow it to tap a fast-growing market. Grand View Research estimates that the global chatbot market could post annual growth of 23% through 2030, growing from $5 billion last year to $26 billion at the end of the forecast period.
As a result, it won’t be surprising to see Opera attract more users and gain a bigger share of the web browser market, which was worth an estimated $183 billion last year and could grow to $590 billion by 2028.
Impressive upside could be in the cards
Opera is expected to maintain healthy growth levels for the next couple of years as well, which is not surprising given the points discussed above. This is evident from the chart below:
What’s more, analysts are projecting Opera’s earnings to grow at an annual rate of 84% for the next five years. That’s faster than the 74% annual earnings growth that Nvidia is forecast to deliver over the same period. This makes buying Opera a no-brainer right now, as it is trading at 19 times trailing earnings compared to Nvidia’s price-to-earnings ratio of nearly 100.
Assuming Opera’s earnings increase at an annual pace of 80% for the next five years, its bottom line could jump to $4.72 per share in 2027, using 2022’s earnings of $0.25 as the base. Multiplying the projected earnings with Opera’s earnings multiple of 19 points toward a stock price of almost $90 after five years. That’s more than 7 times the company’s current stock price.
So, there is a solid chance that Opera could turn out to be a strong AI stock in the long run and deliver red-hot gains. Investors looking for an alternative to Nvidia to take advantage of this fast-growing technology should take a close look at Opera.
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