While technology firms have been flying on the promise of artificial intelligence, investors may want to consider “analog” AI stocks; that is, the best stocks to buy that don’t natively align with a core tech product or service. Of course, this concept begs the question, why the heck would you want to do something like that?
First off, we must consider the valuation perspective. While direct-play AI stocks to buy command significant attention, they also carry significant premiums. With concerns rising about the stability of the economy, it might not be the right move to acquire overvalued enterprises. Therefore, non-tech ideas that still use digital intelligence could offer a bargain idea.
Second, there’s a big difference between laboratory AI and applicable AI. If the underlying innovation is actually useful, it will give early adopters a massive advantage over its peers. Subsequently, investors desiring the next big thing in the market should target these non-tech AI stocks to buy.
Although Walmart (NYSE:WMT) commands a reputation for spearheading the big-box retailer segment, it’s also one of the top AI stocks to buy. That might seem strange at first. However, the company has been aggressively investing in digital intelligence, deploying chatbots, shopping assistants, and associate productivity tools.
Further, Dan Bartlett, Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs mentioned that AI should make its employees’ lives easier in the backroom (or warehouse), and in the front of its super centers. Fundamentally, this framework should help free up more time for Walmart associates to spend time interacting with customers. After all, sales take place on the sales floor.
Overall, WMT ranks as one of the best stocks to buy from a holistic standpoint. Even if economic conditions worsen, people will still seek discounts for various goods. Thus, Walmart stands in a prime position. Finally, analysts peg WMT as a consensus strong buy. Further, their average price target lands at $173.31, implying almost 8% upside potential.
A multinational managed healthcare and insurance company, UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) doesn’t typically light up the radar as a tech innovator. However, it just so happens to be that it also ranks among the top AI stocks to buy. As you know, the broader healthcare ecosystem must deal with a good deal of paperwork and client data. It can be overwhelming for human operators. Fortunately, digital intelligence protocols can help ease the workload.
In addition, UnitedHealth has already incorporated AI into several components of its business. For example, the company features an AI-enhanced virtual assistant platform to collect patient data and offer customized solutions. Moreover, UnitedHealth is developing a centralized data platform with the ultimate aim of improving patient outcomes.
Lastly, analysts peg UNH as a consensus strong buy. This assessment breaks down as 16 buys, two holds, and zero sell ratings. Also, the experts’ average price target clocks in at $571.53, implying almost 13% upside potential.
H&R Block (HRB)
When it comes to tax season, H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) ranks among the top companies to consider, especially if you have complicated returns. However, as a consultancy firm at heart, it’s not exactly one of the tech-driven growth stocks. Nevertheless, for those seeking non-tech investments that may do well in digital intelligence, HRB deserves closer examination.
True, on a year-to-date basis, HRB isn’t anything special. It’s barely above parity. However, it’s been on the move, gaining nearly 7% of equity value in the trailing month. Better yet, H&R Block offers one of the clearest examples of how AI can augment almost any enterprise.
About two months ago, the tax consultancy announced a partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to leverage the latter’s Azure OpenAI services. Basically, the cooperative agreement should help deliver critical tax advice at a higher volume quicker than ever. That’s a win-win across the board. Also, Barrington’s Alexander Paris rates HRB a buy with a $42 price target, implying over 19% upside. Thus, it’s one of the non-tech AI stocks to buy.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.