NVIDIA Jumps on AI Developments, Upgrades

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) shares surged as morning became afternoon Monday, as Wall Street is growing more bullish on the company's artificial intelligence opportunity.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its price target for the chipmaker to the second highest among analyst firms, citing the company's product leadership in the gaming, data center and AI markets.

The move came two days after Evercore ISI analyst C.J. Muse hiked his price target to a Street-high price target on a similar thesis.

The BofA analyst reiterated his buy and "top pick" ratings for Nvidia shares. He raised his price target for the stock to $210 from $185, representing 17% upside from Friday's close. He now has the second highest price target on the stock out of more than 30 analysts, according to FactSet. Evercore's Muse is the highest with a 250-dollar 12-month forecast.

Bank of America predicts data center capital spending will rise 21% in 2018 from an estimated 16.5% in 2017. He also said Google's AI product is a specialized chip compared with Nvidia's more general purpose processor, which is easier to program for different tasks.

Nvidia's stock is up 187% in the past 12 months through Friday compared with the S&P 500's 17% gain. That performance ranks number one in the entire S&P 500

NVIDIA shares raced ahead $9.76, or 5.4%, late morning Monday, to $198.87.