2 No-Brainer Artificial Intelligence (AI) Stocks to Buy with $300 Right Now | The Motley Fool

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These two AI leaders have what it takes to serve up massive wins over the long term.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already making waves, but this incredible technology shift is still in its very early stages. Today’s investors are sitting at the dawn of the AI revolution, and monumental potential lies ahead.

Putting any amount of money — even $300 — into the right companies and taking a hands-off, buy-to-hold approach as this revolution unfolds has the potential to be hugely rewarding. If you’ve got your financial bases covered and have extra cash available to invest, investing in these two stocks would be a great move right now.

Palantir (PLTR 2.72%) has been one of 2023’s hottest AI stocks. Thanks to the launch of its Artificial Intelligence Platform (AIP), improving profitability, and a return to stronger sales growth, the software specialist’s share price has soared roughly 159% in 2023.

AIP seems to be playing a key role in the growth acceleration. At the end of Q2, more than 100 enterprise customers had already adopted the data software specialist’s artificial intelligence platform — and the company said that it was in discussions with 300 other companies that were potentially interested in purchasing the service.

As noted by CEO Alex Karp in the company’s second-quarter conference call, Palantir has seen business performance improve dramatically over the last few years. Over the trailing 12-month period, the company generated $1.74 billion in sales and roughly $300 million in free cash flow. Three years prior, the business had recorded $743 million in trailing 12-month sales and losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Palantir has now recorded three consecutive quarters of profits on a generally accepted-accounting-principles (GAAP) basis. The company will likely deliver a fourth consecutive quarter in the black when it publishes its next earnings results on Nov. 2. While some bears cited the company’s reliance on stock-based compensation to fund operations, Palantir is now serving up consistent earnings even with stock-based compensation factored in — and it’s not relying on non-GAAP models to say that it’s profitable.

Even though Palantir stock has seen explosive gains this year, the company’s share price is also still down 57% from its high. For long-term investors seeking AI stocks with market-crushing potential, building a position in the software leader looks like a smart move.

CrowdStrike (CRWD 2.09%) is a leading cybersecurity software provider that’s poised to benefit from AI-driven industry shifts. The company’s Falcon platform is built around artificial intelligence technology that learns and adapts with each new threat that it encounters, and that strength will likely become even more important going forward. As bad actors increasingly use AI to carry out attacks, the need for high-performance, adaptive protections will only grow.

The long-term demand outlook here is very promising, and CrowdStrike is already serving up impressive results. The company’s second-quarter revenue came in at $731.6 million, up 37% compared to the prior-year period. Meanwhile, total operating expenses in the quarter increased roughly 27% year over year to hit $564.1 million.

The second quarter saw the company achieve its targeted adjusted operating income margin above 20% for the first time, significantly ahead of its planned schedule. Comments from management suggest that it won’t repeat that operating margin target hit in Q3, but performance is expected to return to the long-term target range in Q4. The company also expects to hit its long-term adjusted operating margin target in the next fiscal year.

Like Palantir, CrowdStrike has already seen some impressive share price gains this year. The cybersecurity leader’s stock is up 73% in 2023.

But even on the heels of big gains, CrowdStrike stock still trades at a 37% discount from its high. If you’re looking for strong businesses that are built to thrive as AI evolves, the cybersecurity leader looks like a great portfolio addition.

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