NVIDIA's (NVDA -3.97%) graphics card business has been a tremendous growth engine propelling its stock to multibagger status for shareholders who have held the stock even for just a few years. But this innovator isn't resting on its success. On a Fool Live episode recorded on March 17, Fool.com contributors Brian Feroldi, Brian Stoffel, and Brian Withers discuss an exciting growth avenue it is pursuing and why this growth stock is still a solid investment for shareholders with a long-term mindset.
Brian Withers: There's an MIT spin-off called Derq, D-E-R-Q, that's using NVIDIA products to make AI and traffic intersections in roads safer. They have been gathering data for three years on real-world insights from an intersection in Detroit that's had a lot of crashes. The company has used their hardware to run their system. This AI bot that they are creating will be incorporated into NVIDIA's Metropolis software ecosystem that will help create smart cities. Derq is helping NVIDIA and NVIDIA is helping Derq. They've successfully shown that they can predict cars running red lights. This is the cool part for me, they can warn driver assistance systems and driverless cars to the potential of the accident before it can happen. You imagine sitting in traffic light and all of a sudden, your dash lights up and tells you not to go because somebody's coming the other direction. That's the power of what NVIDIA's video platform that's taking the world in and then transferring the data and converting it to real-world information.
What to watch for NVIDIA? They have an analyst day coming up on April 12. The optionality for this company is just amazing. Like I said, the graphics cards capabilities is still their biggest unit, AI is still pretty small, but just the power of this Derq example shows how NVIDIA can play in this next big wave of AI and interpreting visual information into real-world information. What do you guys think about NVIDIA? You're muted.
Brian Stoffel: I was muted. I have a question about NVIDIA. Normally, I stay away from hardware makers. I don't own shares of NVIDIA and part of that is because I believe that there's potential to get leapfrogged and to be commoditized. Do you see that as a threat? It's obviously always there, but who do you see as the biggest threat to that, for investors looking to buy shares of NVIDIA?
Withers: I'm like you. I'm not a big hardware player, but what I would say of NVIDIA is competition has always been a threat for them. Intel could have done it, AMD could've done it, but nobody has innovated as fast as NVIDIA. Sometimes, they come out with a graphics chip that isn't as great, but then they figure it out and roll it out the next time. I would watch to make sure NVIDIA's innovation engine is still humming at a high speed and that would be the [way it's] keeping the competition at bay.
Brian Feroldi: Brian, if you look at Tesla, they're making investments into their own chip and they have said that they plan on offering their system to other automakers. If they leapfrog NVIDIA and their chip dominates, does that kill the NVIDIA thesis?
Withers: I don't know that anything can kill the NVIDIA thesis because they have multiple streams of revenue. They have a pretty anti-fragile business with multiple streams. But Tesla's not the only car out there that's going to need these systems.
Stoffel: Before Brian Feroldi takes the next one, I will just say, of all hardware makers, NVIDIA gets one of the highest anti-fragile scores.
Feroldi: For sure. Super high-quality company.