Looking For the Best Autonomous Vehicle Stocks To Buy Right Now? 3 Names To Know
It has been an invigorating year for autonomous vehicle stocks so far. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) or self-driving cars bring a unique dimension of transportation to the table. In terms of benefits, it could improve road safety and offer convenience for users. Generally, AV stocks along with electric vehicle (EV) stocks have outpaced the broader automotive industry this year. Admittedly, this is because most conventional automotive stocks are still recovering from pandemic-related impacts. For auto investors, the challenge would be determining whether the AV industry can catch up with the explosive growth of the EV industry in 2021.
This emerging paradigm of transportation has noticeably caught the attention of investors and companies alike. Speculation of Apple (AAPL Stock Report) revitalizing its AV project last week might have given it a slight bump in its share price since last week. Another example would be how stocks of Luminar (LAZR Stock Report) edged up yesterday. This came after news of Tesla (TSLA Stock Report) running test drives with Luminar’s sensors on its AV line. Even the tech giants such as Amazon (AMZN Stock Report) and Google (GOOGL Stock Report) have thrown their hats into the AV race as well.
With so many big players in the field, I can understand why investors are excited to be a part of the current AV trend. Despite the self-driving vehicle industry being in its infancy stages, there are already some making big moves. With that in mind, here is a list of top Autonomous vehicle stocks on our radars this week.
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Top Autonomous Vehicle Stocks To Watch: Velodyne Lidar Inc
Velodyne Lidar (VLDR Stock Report) has been a rising star on the stock market since it went public back in July. Over the past month, VLDR stock has climbed over 40%. For the uninitiated, it is a Silicon-Valley based light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology company. Velodyne basically makes the sensors that AVs rely on to navigate the world around them. As a producer of such a vital AV component, it is not surprising that investors see it as a long-term growth stock.
Earlier this month, the company announced a multi-year sales agreement with global AV tech leader Motional. Velodyne will be the sole provider of LiDAR sensors for Motional’s Level 4 driverless vehicles. This marks a step forward for Velodyne as its industry-leading sensors are used in tandem with Motional’s top-of-the-line AV technology. I would say that Velodyne is making a great partner in Motional. Another key announcement came just last week as Velodyne joined the Qualcomm (QCOM Stock Report) Smart Cities Accelerator Program. In doing so, Velodyne will work more closely with Qualcomm, governments, and solution developers to create smart city applications. It seems to me that the company is busy building relationships with very capable partners. Does this put it at the forefront of the AV industry? Your guess is as good as mine.
Moreover, the company’s third-quarter fiscal shows it has been doing exceptionally well. In it, Velodyne reported bringing in $32 million in total revenue. This marked a 137% year-over-year increase. By and large, Velodyne’s impressive financials and strong collaborations paint a great image for investors. As such, will you be adding VLDR stock to your watchlist?
Top Autonomous Vehicle Stocks To Watch: Baidu Inc.
Following that, we have Baidu (BIDU Stock Report). Baidu is one of the largest artificial intelligence (AI) and internet companies in the world. More importantly, its AV line Baidu Apollo was built using its world-class AI technology. The company’s AV products include minibus and robotaxi product lines. BIDU stocks have been on a roll this year with gains of over 130% since the March lows. Investors may be wondering if BIDU stock can continue its momentum in 2021.
It appears that Baidu is set on doing so. Just last week, the company received five Level 4 AV test licenses from the Nanjing municipal government. In fact, this is the first batch issued by the city. To add to that, the company will be working to develop AV technology and intelligent AV infrastructure in the districts of Nanjing and Qinhuai. This gives Baidu the green light to carry out its road tests throughout Nanjing which definitely puts it ahead of the local competition. It appears that the company is looking to make the most of the AV trend by getting ahead of the curve.
Another thing to consider would be its rock-solid financials. In its recent quarter fiscal posted in November, the company reported total revenue of $4.3 billion. Baidu also has a whopping $2.8 billion in cash on hand. If anything, it clearly has the funds necessary to make a name for itself in the AV industry. Do you think all this could propel BIDU stock to new highs?
Top Autonomous Vehicle Stocks To Watch: Toyota Motor Corp
Toyota (TM Stock Report) needs no introduction. Just like most big names in the automotive industries, we have seen the company focus on AV development this year. Important to note, it’s AV department which Toyota invested $2.8 billion in at launch, has been around since 2018. Safe to say, Toyota is no newcomer to the field of AV manufacturing. Despite the coronavirus pandemic impacting its automotive sales, the company’s shares hit a new all-time high of $156.30 earlier this month. Investors may be wondering if TM stocks still have room to grow as we enter 2021.
Well, Toyota does not seem to be slowing down even during the current holiday season. Reports said Toyota Motor Europe would be running its AV trials in Norway. It will be collaborating with Finnish AV tech company Sensible 4, mobility company Holo, and public transport authority Ruter. Sensible 4 CEO Harri Santamala said, “Autonomous vehicles complement the already existing public transportation network by providing new last-mile transportation services.” I’d say this is a spectacular play by Toyota as it will be able to flex its AV technology in Europe.
With Toyota’s sights on profiting off emerging AV trends, financial resources are another factor to look at. In its second-quarter fiscal, the company recorded $65.4 billion in total revenue. Coupled with $53.3 billion cash on hand, resources are not an issue for Toyota. How the company makes the most of it is another question entirely. Should Toyota play its cards right, could we be looking at another great year for TM stock?