How Brainchip shares gained 63% in a year when tech stocks nosedived

The computer hardware provider was once considered a meme stock. Is it fair dinkum now?

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Regular readers of The Motley Fool will already know it has been a tough year for technology stocks.

Sentiment turned against growth shares late last year, and there is no industry other than biotechnology that is so dominated by expansionist businesses.

In fact, the S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) has tumbled more than 40% since mid-November.

Yikes.

But amid the carnage, there is one flower still standing and thriving.

How did a tech stock rise 63% in the last 12 months?

Over the 2022 financial year, US-based artificial intelligence chip maker Brainchip Holdings Ltd (ASX: BRN) took its share price from 49 cents to 80 cents.

That’s an impressive 63% gain during a time when its peers saw their valuations collapse.

So how did it achieve such a feat?

Although still in a pre-revenue stage, the business seems to be impressing the market with incremental deals that suggest its technology might actually have a future.

These include partnerships with space agency NASA and car maker Mercedes Benz Group AG (FRA: DAII).

“The Akida chip is designed to think like a human brain and it can be used for a variety of purposes worldwide,” reported The Motley Fool colleague Aaron Teboneras.

“These include in the manufacture of smart cars such as the Mercedes EQXX concept car as well as in-home automation, unmanned aircraft, medical instruments, cybersecurity, and more.”

To top off this journey to legitimacy, the ballooning share price meant Brainchip shares were welcomed into the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) last month.

This inclusion forced many institutional investors to buy into the stock for funds that are tied to the composition of the flagship Australian index.

Meme stock no more?

It’s a long way from 2020 when Brainchip shares were derided as a meme stock, months before anyone had heard of GameStop Corp (NYSW: GME).

Its share price skyrocketed from eight cents to 97 cents in a matter of weeks after amateur traders on internet forums bid the price upward. 

Back then, the company had not shown enough for the public to even judge whether its products existed.

But two years since then, while the business is still not making meaningful revenues, partnerships with established companies seem to be giving investors more confidence.

The Motley Fool’s Teboneras picked it as a stock to buy last month.

“Valued at $1.95 billion, BrainChip is still a relatively emerging, pre-revenue company that is looking to dominate the AI market,” he said.

“Should BrainChip be able to deliver on its potential, I think its share price is extremely attractive at its current price.”

Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has positions in Brainchip Holdings Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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