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Arm Holdings and Micron: Top 2 AI Stocks to Buy and Hold

ARM holdings logo on smartphone screen

Key Points

  • AI is driving a surge in demand for specialized semiconductors, creating opportunities for long-term investors.
  • Arm Holdings' licensing model and dominance in mobile chips position it as a vital enabler of the AI ecosystem.
  • Micron Technology is capitalizing on the growing need for high-performance memory.
  • 5 stocks we like better than ARM

The semiconductor industry is the bedrock of the digital age. Semiconductors have provided the essential building blocks for computers, smartphones, and countless other electronic devices that power our modern world. As technology advances at an unprecedented pace, the demand for increasingly powerful and efficient semiconductors continues to surge. At the front of this technological revolution is artificial intelligence (AI), a transformative tech reshaping industries that is driving an insatiable need for specialized hardware. This combination of factors presents a compelling opportunity for long-term investors seeking to capitalize on the transformative growth of both the semiconductor industry and the AI market

Long-Term Investing in Semiconductors

While the semiconductor industry is known for its cyclical nature, long-term investors understand that these cycles are temporary deviations from a more significant growth trajectory. By embracing a long-term perspective, investors can look beyond short-term market noise and position themselves to benefit from the industry's sustained expansion. A key to successful long-term investing in semiconductors is identifying companies with robust fundamentals, proven track records, and sustainable competitive advantages. These companies are better equipped to defy market fluctuations and emerge stronger from industry downturns.

The semiconductor sector thrives on innovation, consistently pushing the boundaries of what's possible in computing power, efficiency, and miniaturization. This constant drive for technological advancement creates a virtuous growth cycle, with each breakthrough fueling new applications and markets, further propelling demand for cutting-edge semiconductors. With its ability to process vast amounts of data and perform complex tasks, AI represents a paradigm shift in computing, demanding new processing power and memory capacity. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for semiconductor companies at the forefront of developing and manufacturing the specialized chips that power AI applications.

Arm Holdings: Architected for the AI Era

Arm Holdings NASDAQ: ARM operates with a unique, resilient business model centered on licensing intellectual property rather than manufacturing chips directly. Instead of competing in the volatile production market, Arm licenses its energy-efficient CPU designs to a vast network of partners like Qualcomm NASDAQ: QCOM, Apple NASDAQ: AAPL, and Samsung OTCMKTS: SSNLF. This asset-light approach, generating recurring revenue through royalties on every chip produced using its technology, is reflected in its strong profitability metrics. The company boasts a 9.46% net margin and a 6.56% pretax margin, demonstrating its ability to convert revenue into profits effectively.

ARM Today

Arm Holdings plc stock logo
ARMARM 90-day performance
+0.15 (+0.09%)
(As of 07/22/2024 09:05 PM ET)
52-Week Range

Arm's dominance in the mobile market, powering an estimated 99% of the world's smartphones, speaks volumes about its technological prowess and market penetration. This success stems from its architecture's inherent focus on energy efficiency and scalability, which are crucial for mobile devices and increasingly important for AI applications. Recognizing the vast potential of AI, Arm has positioned itself strategically, becoming a leading provider of AI-optimized chips. Its Armv9 technology, designed for enhanced performance and efficiency, is gaining rapid adoption in data centers, powering the cloud infrastructure behind AI applications. Further solidifying its position are strategic partnerships with leading cloud providers, including Google NASDAQ: GOOG, Amazon NASDAQ: AMZN, and Microsoft NASDAQ: MSFT.

Beyond this, Arm is expanding into the PC market, leveraging its energy efficiency and performance to challenge x86 processors' dominance. This expansion and its firm grip on the mobile market create a compelling growth narrative for long-term investors. Furthermore, the company's financial prudence is evident in its low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.30, indicating a low reliance on debt financing and a stronger ability to weather economic downturns. 

While Arm Holdings' high valuation might give some investors pause, its robust business model, dominant market share, strategic positioning in the AI ecosystem, and financial health warrant consideration. As AI becomes increasingly ubiquitous, Arm's technology is primed to play a central role, making it a compelling investment for those looking to capitalize on this transformative technology's long-term growth potential.

Arm Holdings plc (ARM) Price Chart for Tuesday, July, 23, 2024

Micron Technology: Meeting the Memory Demands of AI

Micron Technology NASDAQ: MU is a leading provider of DRAM and NAND flash memory. These products are crucial for every modern electronic device and are at the heart of the data storage revolution. The demand for Micron's high-performance memory products has skyrocketed as AI becomes increasingly sophisticated. With their thirst for vast datasets and rapid processing, AI algorithms rely heavily on high-bandwidth memory modules for efficient training and deployment.

Micron Technology Today

Micron Technology, Inc. stock logo
MUMU 90-day performance
Micron Technology
+1.02 (+0.89%)
(As of 07/22/2024 ET)
52-Week Range
Dividend Yield
Price Target

Recognizing this demand, Micron has strategically focused on developing cutting-edge memory solutions optimized for AI applications. The company's high-bandwidth DRAM and NAND flash memory are finding a ready market in data centers globally, powering the servers behind complex AI workloads. While the memory market is inherently cyclical and prone to oversupply and price fluctuations, Micron's strategic focus on AI-optimized memory puts it in a solid position to navigate these cycles. Further strengthening Micron's near-term prospects are current market dynamics characterized by strong demand and favorable pricing trends fueled by the surge in AI adoption.

Micron’s financial performance reflects this positive environment. In its most recent quarter, Micron reversed a year-over-year earnings-per-share (EPS) loss to a gain of $0.71, showcasing a potent turnaround. Notably, revenue surged 58% year-over-year in the same period, primarily driven by the data center market's robust demand. 

Beyond this sector, Micron sees substantial growth opportunities in AI-enabled PCs and other consumer devices that are increasingly reliant on high-performance memory for AI-powered features. While the inherent cyclical risks of the memory market remain a consideration for long-term investors, Micron's strategic focus on high-growth segments like AI, coupled with its recent financial performance, makes it a compelling investment for those seeking exposure to the memory market's growth potential.

Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) Price Chart for Tuesday, July, 23, 2024

Embracing the Long-Term Vision

Long-term investing, while offering the potential for substantial returns, is not without risks. Market volatility, economic uncertainty, and unforeseen events can all impact investment performance. Investors in Arm Holdings should be aware of the company's high valuation, which implies significant growth expectations. Any slowdown in the adoption of AI or increased competition could put pressure on Arm's stock price. Micron Technology, operating in the cyclical memory market, faces risks related to potential oversupply and price fluctuations. Economic downturns could also impact demand for memory, potentially impacting Micron's revenue and earnings.

Diversification is critical to mitigating these risks. Investors should spread their investments across multiple companies, sectors, and asset classes to reduce the impact of any single investment's performance on their overall portfolio. Thorough research and due diligence are also essential before making any investment decision. Investors should carefully evaluate a company's financials, competitive landscape, and long-term growth prospects.

Long-term investing requires patience and willingness to ride out short-term market fluctuations. Investors can benefit from technology's transformative power and the semiconductor industry's enduring growth by focusing on companies with solid fundamentals, a commitment to innovation, and strategic positioning in high-growth markets like AI. Arm Holdings and Micron Technology, with their distinct strengths and strategic advantages, represent compelling opportunities for investors seeking to capitalize on this long-term growth story.

Should you invest $1,000 in ARM right now?

Before you consider ARM, you'll want to hear this.

MarketBeat keeps track of Wall Street's top-rated and best performing research analysts and the stocks they recommend to their clients on a daily basis. MarketBeat has identified the five stocks that top analysts are quietly whispering to their clients to buy now before the broader market catches on... and ARM wasn't on the list.

While ARM currently has a "Moderate Buy" rating among analysts, top-rated analysts believe these five stocks are better buys.

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Jeffrey Neal Johnson
About The Author

Jeffrey Neal Johnson

Contributing Author

Retail and Technology Stocks

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Companies Mentioned in This Article

CompanyMarketRank™Current PricePrice ChangeDividend YieldP/E RatioConsensus RatingConsensus Price Target
0.5504 of 5 stars
0.55 / 5 stars
163.55+0.1%N/AN/AModerate BuyN/A
Micron Technology (MU)
4.8939 of 5 stars
4.89 / 5 stars
$115.28+0.9%0.40%-81.18Moderate Buy$158.72
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