These Autonomous Vehicle Stocks Have Been Red Hot In The Stock Market So Far This Year

It has been an exciting couple of years for autonomous vehicle stocks. The advancement and development of self-driving cars are continuing to revolutionize the transportation industry. In regards to benefits, autonomous vehicles can improve road safety and add convenience for drivers. From a macro outlook, top autonomous vehicle stocks along with EV stocks have outperformed the broader automotive industry this past year. A big contributor to that is, of course, the global COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted most traditional automotive stocks. For auto investors, the challenge will be deciding whether the autonomous vehicle industry will see similar explosive growth in 2021 that top electric vehicle (EV) stocks experienced in 2020. 

The newly emerging shift of transportation to AV has started to catch the attention of both investors and companies. There has been speculation of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) revamping its AV project, along with a number of top autonomous vehicle stocks going public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) like Luminar (NASDAQ: LAZR), and Velodyne Lidar (NASDAQ: VLDR). 

With so many big players entering the industry, it’s no wonder why investors are excited about being a part of the current autonomous vehicle craze. Though we still remain in the early stages of the AV industry, let’s take a look at three of the top autonomous vehicle stocks to watch in the stock market today.

Best Autonomous Vehicle Stocks To Watch Right Now

Alphabet (GOOGL)

First up on the list is tech giant Alphabet or GOOGL. The California-based tech company sells a wide range of tools and apps that many consumers today use in their everyday lives such as Google Mail or Gmail, and Google Drive. In 2009 the company started the self-driving car project with a goal of driving autonomously for over ten undisrupted 100-mile routes. This project has since turned into Waymo, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. The company aims to make it safe and easy for people and things to get to where they’re going, by reducing the number of traffic crashes using its autonomous vehicle technology. In the last year, Waymo has made significant progress. The company rolled out its 5th generation Waymo Driver and opened up its Waymo One to the public.

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Furthermore, GOOGL stock has been on a tear since the beginning of last year and has since carried that momentum over into the new year. Year-to-date shares of GOOGL stock have rallied 21.49% at $2,097.07 a share. This comes on the heels of a 72.49% increase in share price over the last year of trading for GOOGL stock.

The recent rally comes after the company recently reported its fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations. The tech giant managed to grow 23% on an annualized basis in the quarter. That compares to 17% in the same period last year. Alphabet also reported fourth-quarter revenue of $46.2 billion, resulting in a 22% increase from $37.93 billion in the same quarter last year. With all that being, has GOOGL stock earned a spot on your AV watchlist?

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General Motors (GM)

Next up on the list is automaker General Motors. General Motors is currently the largest automaker within the United States, and one of the largest automakers across the globe. Similar to its industry peers like Ford (NYSE: F) GM has begun to make the shift towards the rapidly growing EV and autonomous vehicle industries. If you remember this past November, General Motors announced that it plans to invest $27 billion in EV and autonomous vehicles through 2025. GM also mentioned that it plans to release 30 EV models globally by 2025.

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General Motors is currently working with top tech stock Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) on commercializing autonomous vehicles. The company led a $2 billion dollar investment round in self-driving car startup Cruise LLC. It looks like this one-time conventional automaker has committed to evolving and keeping up with the newest trends in transportation.

Along with this, GM stock and investors have experienced a massive rally of over 117% from March 2020 lows. Year-to-date shares of GM stock are up another 32.68% closing Friday’s trading session at $53.75. The auto stock’s recent news and trading activity have caught the attention of analysts. For example, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas raised his price target for GM stock to $80 per share. That signifies an upside of more than 50%. Jonas feels the value of the new initiatives is more than sufficient to offset the decline in the old business. All things considering, is now the best time to buy GM stock? You be the judge.

[Read More] Top Electric Vehicle (EV) Stocks To Buy? 4 To Watch

Tesla Motors (TSLA)

Last but not least, we will be looking at EV maker, Tesla. To start, you can’t deny that the company is a household name in both the automotive market and the stock market. Given its industry-leading clean energy portfolio, Tesla is an ideal candidate to benefit from growing government spending on green initiatives. Just last month, the company also made headlines with a huge $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin (BTC).

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As the overall adoption of the cryptocurrency continues to increase, Tesla also mentioned plans to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. Furthermore, TSLA stock has skyrocketed in value as well. It is currently representing gains of over 1,000% since March 2020 lows. Despite all this, Tesla shows no signs of slowing down.

Moving forward, Tesla isn’t new to the autonomous vehicle industry. In fact, CEO Elon Musk has been promising “full self-driving” for a while now. The company is a leader in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). If we’ve learned anything from Tesla’s massive rally is that you can never count on Elon Musk and Tesla. Given all that, should you consider buying TSLA stock as driving autonomy continues to gain mainstream adoption?

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