Canada is home to some of the world’s leading tech companies, and in recent years they’ve been making huge investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI). With new AI solutions arising daily, there are ample opportunities for investors to get involved in some of these forward-thinking companies.
Investing in a good AI stock can be rewarding and exciting if you’re researching savvy. But how do you decide which AI stocks will be worth your money?
In this article, I’ll discuss the top AI stocks currently trading in Canada. I’ll give an overview of the company, its performance, and why these artificial intelligence stocks could be profitable for investors.
Why the Craze with AI in the Stock Market?
The craze for artificial intelligence (AI) in the market is due to its potential to revolutionize the world and investors’ decisions. AI has been used in various industries, from healthcare to retail, and now it’s being applied to more and more, including the stock market.
AI can help investors identify trends and patterns that may not be visible to the human eye, allowing them to make more informed decisions.
It also opens up a world of possibilities for many industries to optimize and discover new ways of doing things while saving costs.
Most recently, natural language processing models, like OpenAI’s ChatGPT3, have dominated the AI scene. We wanted to look at some Canadian AI stocks you can have in your portfolio alongside Alphabet (Parent company to Google), tech giant Microsoft, Amazon and other blue chips investing in artificial intelligence.
Best Canadian Artificial Intelligence Stocks
Here are some of the best stocks to consider for those wanting exposure to Artificial Intelligence & machine learning growth in Canada. These companies have taken a long-term bet investing in AI and are well-positioned for the boom ahead.
Here’s a quick list of the top artificial intelligence companies;
- Kinaxis Inc.
- Open Text Corporation
- VIQ Solutions
- MCloud AI
- DataMetrex AI
- FOBI AI
- CGI Inc.
Kinaxis Inc. (TSX: KSX)
Kinaxis is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company specializing in supply chain management. It operates on the cloud and helps its customers use artificial intelligence to optimize supply chains, makes them more informed about their business, and drives cost-efficiency. In addition, the software allows clients to visualize their supply chain better and plan resources by using simulations and preventing inventory obsolescence.
Traditional supply chain management software involves many software applications for different vendors and is heavily excel dependent. Kinaxis helps integrate all a company’s vendors and logistics providers/departments under one software on the cloud and gives the company an organizational view of its supply chain. As supply chains are getting more complex, Kinaxis AI is helping companies better understand, control, and adapt to their increasing size.
Kinaxis work in various industries like consumer technology, aerospace/defence, industrials, pharmaceuticals/healthcare, automotive, and FMCG. Moreover, Moreover, Kinaxis has many blue-chip clients such as Nikon, Qualcomm, Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Asics, etc., which proves its product’s efficacy and real-world impact.
In addition, the company has gained from a tailwind from COVID as the world was forced to shift towards eCommerce, thus giving the supply chain and logistics business a big boost.
In Q1 2021, the company reported revenue of $57.7 million (up 9% YoY) and gross profit of $37.2 million (up 1% YoY). Adjusted EBITDA was $9 million, and cash flow from operations was $20.6 million.
It is very strong as it has long-term contracts (unrecognized revenue) worth $129.5 million for 2021, $127 million for 2022, and $127.5 million for 2023 and beyond. For FY21, the company has given revenue guidance of $245 million to $247 million (representing 17%-20% growth) with an EBITDA margin of 11%-14%.
Open Text Corporation (TSX: OTEX)
Open Text Corporation (OTEX.TO) is a Canadian-based software company specializing in enterprise information management solutions. They have been at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) technology for many years, and its AI-driven products have helped transform businesses worldwide. They are one of the top AI companies in Canada, headquartered in Waterloo.
Open Text’s AI tools are used by organizations to automate processes, improve customer service, and gain insights from data. They are an enterprise software company using AI to improve profitability and efficiency; this Ai stock has a great outlook.
Docebo (TSX: DCBO)
Docebo is a SaaS company that uses its cloud-based AI platform to provide customized e-learning services to organizations for service learning and upskilling. Technology is changing the workplace at speed never seen before as businesses adapt to changing markets and products.
This has led to a massive demand for e-learning and upskilling service providers. As a result, Docebo has found great success with marquee clients like Netflix, Uber, and Starbucks. Having a client roster of blue-chip clients is a positive sign for investors as it shows the real-world success of a company’s product.
Docebo uses AI to help its client provide personalized learning for employees and comprehensive progress tracking for managers. The software trains employees with an AI-powered Virtual Coach to test real-world solution-solving at scale. The software then suggests appropriate learning material based on performance to the trainees, all without the intervention of managers/admins who can spend their time more productively while having a birds-eye view of the progress of all trainees.
Like most technology companies, Docebo has benefitted very handsomely from COVID as many companies were forced to hire work-from-home employees and needed online training services. Furthermore, COVID has led to a systemic shift towards work-from-home, leading to long-term tailwinds for Docebo.
For Q1 2021, Docebo reported revenues of $21.6 million (up 61% YoY) and a gross profit of $17.9 million. EBITDA and net loss were $2.5 million and $5.6 million (one-off expenses) as the company is currently focused on growth over profitability. In addition, Docebo grew its customer base by a staggering 27% over the past quarter.
VIQ Solutions (TSX: VQS)
VIQ Solutions is a developer of AI-powered digital content creation and management software for organizations. VIQ Solutions uses artificial intelligence to provide transcription, image recognition, video tagging, etc. In addition, they allow organizations to automate processes such as data capture, cataloging, documentation, etc.
The company is finding success in healthcare, law enforcement, the legal industry, insurance, and generic businesses. In addition, they have benefitted from COVID-19, which has forced court proceedings, business meetings, and doctor consultations to be digital.
In law enforcement and insurance, their software creates quick on-site incident reports that are instantly tagged and uploaded to the cloud for processing. In addition, their product transcribes minutes of court sessions, depositions, and meetings in the legal industry and generic businesses.
Another example of its application is the use of its transcription software by doctors in hospitals, which saves doctors valuable time and increases their efficiency. They also provide real-time translation of dictations in 40 languages.
In the first quarter of 2021, VIQ Solutions reported revenues of $8.3 million (up 9.4% YoY) and a gross profit of $4 million (up 25% YoY). Net loss for the quarter was $1.7 million, down 75% YoY. They are gradually scaling towards profitability and were recently promoted from the TSX Venture Exchange to the TSX.
MCloud AI (MCLD.V)
MCloud AI provides artificial intelligence-powered asset management systems to energy suppliers, grid operators, process industries, commercial buildings, and companies with large geographical footprints. As companies look to reduce their carbon footprint, energy usage and renewable energy management are desirable sectors.
Based on historical and real-time data, it uses artificial intelligence to drive cost savings and energy usage. The company’s software is also used at wind farms, solar farms, and other energy assets to optimize energy generation/storage and provides energy companies with a single dashboard to optimize/monitor energy assets across different locations.
In addition, it uses edge devices (IoT) to gather operational performance at industrial plants and energy assets and uses its software to find actionable insights. The company also uses IoT to control HVAC systems resulting in cost savings of 25% for clients like Starbucks. The company’s services are desirable as they involve low client capital outlay.
In Q1’21, they reported strong business growth. Reported revenue for the quarter was C$7.3 million (up 27% YoY); more importantly, recurring revenues for their software were up 524% from C$1 million to C$6.2 million. Gross profit for the quarter was C$5.2 million. Net losses were more or less stable at C$8.8 million due to the company’s focus on growth.
DataMetrex AI (DM.V)
DataMetrex AI is a data analytics company that provides software to analyze large amounts of unstructured data such as websites, blogs, social media, documents, etc. For example, it helps organizations find insights into consumer behaviour and opinion by sifting through social media platforms and web pages that mention their products or contain relevant information about their target market. They aim to help brands build better product experiences.
COVID has blessed them, as its platform helped governments, NGOs, and special help groups track cases in real-time and benefitted from many brands being forced to go digital. Apart from generating insight into consumer sentiment and opinion, the company’s platform also performs web analytics by providing actionable web and app usage insights, such as location-based heat maps.
They have witnessed a change of fortunes since the onset of COVID. In Q1’21, they reported revenues of $19 million (up 2253% YoY) and net earnings of $9.56 million (up 1425% YoY). They are poised for strong growth with a record cash pile of $4.6 million. Although a small market cap compared to some competitors, it’s one of the better Canadian AI stocks.
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FOBI AI (FOBI.V)
FOBI AI (TSX.V: FOBI), formerly Loop Insights, is a Canadian artificial intelligence stock making waves in the tech industry. They specialize in developing and deploying AI technology solutions for various industries, such as healthcare, finance, retail, and more.
They specialize in artificial intelligence, automated marketing, contact tracing, and no-contact solutions for physical businesses. Additionally, they have invested in data analytics and machine learning to deliver rapid, comprehensive insights and automated personalization in e-commerce.
FOBI AI has developed a suite of products that can be used to automate processes and improve efficiency across multiple sectors. Their IoT device provides data connectivity between online and on-premise platforms, making it possible to develop highly scalable solutions for customers worldwide with no disruption to existing infrastructure. They are one of the smaller market capitalization AI stocks on our list.
CGI Inc. (GIB-A.TO)
CGI Inc. (GIBA.TO) is a Canadian-based technology and consulting company specializing in artificial intelligence (AI). It has existed since 1976 and has been providing AI solutions to clients since 1997, and its AI capabilities are used by some of the world’s leading companies. CGI Inc. is one of the best artificial intelligence stocks in Canada, as it has a strong track record of delivering successful AI projects.
They have developed various AI products and technologies, such as predictive analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing. CGI Inc. is also actively involved in developing autonomous vehicles and robotics. The self-driving car must leverage AI-powered technology to perform tasks safely.
Embark Technologies is another tech company applying AI technology and self-driving cars to commercial fleets; check it out.
EarthLabs Inc. (TSX.V: SPOT)
Earthlabs is a micro-cap company using a powerful combination at the intersection of AI and the mining industry.
Formerly Goldspot, EarthLabs is a Canadian-based company specializing in developing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for the mining industry. Their mission is to provide innovative solutions to help miners increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve safety. EarthLabs has developed a suite of AI products to optimize operations and maximize profits.
EarthLabs’ flagship product is an AI-driven platform that uses machine learning and predictive analytics to help miners identify geological anomalies that indicate the presence of minerals and make further inferences into assay results.
C3.AI (NYSE: AI)
C3.AI (NYSE: AI) is one of North America’s best artificial intelligence stocks. They provide a suite of enterprise-grade software products and services that enable organizations to rapidly develop, deploy, and operate AI applications at scale. In addition, C3.AI has developed an integrated platform for building and operating AI applications that are secure, reliable, and cost-effective.
Some leading organizations, including Microsoft, the e-commerce behemoth Amazon, and Google, use the company’s products. C3.AI is also developing AI tools & solutions for healthcare, finance, retail, and other industries.
Are AI & Machine Learning stocks a good investment?
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have become one of the most prominent narratives of the technology sector. The AI industry promises to boost productivity across all business sectors using intelligent and adaptive software to enhance human intelligence.
Artificial intelligence helps organizations become more efficient by automating increasingly complex tasks, increasing yields across different processes, and assisting companies in managing workflows at an organizational level. According to leading consulting firm McKinsey, it could add $13 trillion to the global economy by the end of this decade.
Most recently, generative AI has become the most popular use case. Still, deep learning AI will change self-driving cars, data science, computer science, e-commerce and almost every other industry.
One of the biggest reasons investors should add exposure to AI companies in their portfolios is its applications across many industries. Artificial intelligence has accelerated digitization across all sectors, thus giving artificial intelligence a tailwind.
Amazon’s business model, for example, touches all of these industries with its cloud computing service and data centers; they use AI to provide a visual perception of their data centers and improve their computing power with huge amounts of new data. And obviously, they are involved with deep learning for e-commerce. AMZN is an AI stock you should also have, as well as Microsoft and Google, with a large market cap.
In a 2020 survey of 1030 companies, nearly 28% of companies in the Health, Finance, Automotive, FMCG, Technology, and Telecom industries increased their investment in AI systems through the pandemic.
With the emergence of the cloud, AI is more accessible than ever, as small companies didn’t have the resources to build such systems in the past. Furthermore, artificial intelligence is poised to get more powerful and effective over the next few years due to IoT (Internet of Things); an increase in intelligent sensors and smart devices will lead artificial intelligence to become a ubiquitous part of our lives.
As you can see, artificial intelligence has found applications in various industries, and it is poised to grow with the increasing role of technology in organizations. Over time, as more companies get digitized due to hardware and software upgrades (IoT), AI programs will have higher quality data, leading to higher impact.
However, investors should be aware of the risks of investing in high-growth companies, including AI stocks, as the software industry is highly competitive and prone to disruption. Investors should also be concerned as cloud computing providers (E.g. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google) that provide the hardware infrastructure to these companies are increasingly developing their own AI solutions, which can potentially be far more powerful due to the resources available to these companies.
AI stocks are some of the most exciting on the stock market today. The nature of the enterprise software industry is such that competitive advantages can be very short-lived as software solutions are very scalable, switching costs can be minimal due to low product differentiation in the space, and high price competition.
As artificial intelligence has been declared the tech industry’s future, we hope you enjoyed our list of AI-based stocks to buy in 2021. Among them are Canadian technology stocks that could help you tap into a projected AI market of $560 billion.
Canadian AI stocks are something to look into; many artificial intelligence companies in Canada are at the forefront of innovation and focused on using their AI-prowess to improve people’s lives.
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