It’s a high bar, but companies reporting second-quarter earnings in recent weeks have talked up artificial intelligence even more than in the previous quarter.
S&P 500 companies that led in discussion of AI during quarterly conference calls with analysts earlier this year have outdone themselves in their latest quarterly calls.
Following Intel’s report late on Thursday, executives and analysts on its call mentioned AI 58 times, up from 15 mentions in its previous call in April.
Intel so far has missed out on the boom in components for AI computing, and sales in its data center and AI business fell 15 per cent in the second quarter. Intel is now rushing to catch up with Nvidia and other rivals whose chips enable the technology behind ChatGPT. A 6.6 per cent surge in Intel’s shares on Friday following its report was due to optimism about a recovery in weak demand for personal computers.
Participants on Alphabet’s analyst call on Tuesday mentioned AI 62 times, up from 52 times three months ago. The same day, AI was mentioned 58 times on Microsoft’s call, up from 35 times in its previous call.
The recent surge in companies talking about their plans related to AI reflects Wall Street’s recent overwhelming optimism about using generative AI and related technologies to offer new services and boost efficiency across a spectrum of industries. That has helped fuel a 37 per cent surge in the Nasdaq this year and a 20 per cent gain in the S&P 500.
Over a third of S&P 500 corporations reporting their results this month had AI mentioned at least once on conference calls held with analysts, up from about a quarter of companies at about the same period in the first quarter, according to a Reuters analysis.
The terms “AI” or “artificial intelligence” have been uttered 827 times on 76 calls out of a total of 221 calls held in recent weeks, according to a Reuters analysis of transcripts. That equates to 3.7 mentions per call, more than double the 1.8 mentions per call at the same time last quarter.
Technology heavyweights account for the conference calls with the greatest discussion of AI so far this quarter, but businesses not widely viewed as “tech companies” have also talked heavily about AI.
AI was mentioned a combined 58 times during conference calls held by Moody’s Corp and rival S&P Global Inc this week as they promoted the integration of the technology into risk assessment software and other areas. That is a major leap from the March-quarter, when AI was mentioned just three times on Moody’s conference call and 10 times on S&P Global’s call.
Others that saw 10 or more mentions of AI in their recent calls include insurer Travelers Companies, which is using the technology in underwriting and claims handling, as well as marketing firm Omnicom Group, consumer credit score company Equifax and data center investor Digital Realty Trust.