The company earned a spot on BofA's US1 list of top investment ideas this week. Analyst Vivek Arya said Nvidia is levered strongly to growth markets including artificial intelligence, gaming, driverless cars and virtual reality, according to a note obtained by Bloomberg.
The recent selloff in chipmakers such as Nvidia makes now a smart time to buy the top sector pick, Arya added, especially ahead of product launches in the space expected in the back half of 2018.
Arya said there is some downside risk for Nvidia when it comes to cryptocurrencies, as the digital assets have broadly sold off in recent weeks. The company's graphics processing units are frequently sought after by cryptocurrency miners in need of strong computing power and a great deal of energy, and a selloff in the space could hamper demand for those units. Despite that downside, though, Nvidia has upside chip potential for personal computer gaming, BofA said.
Arya suggested in his analysis that investors largely have overlooked the "noise" surrounding Uber Technologies Inc.'s recent driverless car troubles. The ride-hailing company has taken heat after one of its self-driving vehicles with a safety operator behind the wheel hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona earlier this month. Nvidia suspended autonomous car testing on public roads in the wake of the accident, as Uber uses Nvidia's computing platforms in its driverless vehicles.
BofA added that, though Nvidia stock has managed to hold onto year-to-date gains, it is subject to the near-term risks associated with most high-growth tech stocks. Nvidia shares have rallied nearly 120% in the last 12 months. But shares were subject to sector-wide trouble recently and have shed about 9% of their value in the last month.
Arya submitted that Nvidia stock is under-owned, as only 26% of U.S. active fund managers own shares. Nvidia shares gained 1.33% to $223.99 in premarket trading on Tuesday. BofA reiterated a $300 price target for Nvidia shares, implying about a 36% upside to the closing price on Monday, April 2.
While Nvidia got good news despite recent market trouble, fellow Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook Inc. (FB - Get Report) wasn't so lucky. Bank of America Merrill Lynch removed Facebook from the same US1 list this week, suggesting it no longer is among the bank's top investing ideas. Facebook stock has fallen 13.6% in the last month. Shares gained 0.39% to $155.99 in premarket trading on Tuesday.