(Bloomberg) -- Dell Technologies Inc. shares have been acting like market-leader Nvidia Corp. of late, and investors are betting the company will see a similar boost from artificial intelligence.

The maker of personal computers and servers has emerged as one of the biggest winners of the AI boom, and this narrative is likely to be reinforced when it reports its first-quarter results after the close. Confirmation of improving growth prospects could continue to support a stock that’s at a record high while trading at a discount to other tech favorites.

Dell recently generated excitement by unveiling a line of PCs optimized for AI, adding to hopes that such features could prompt a long-awaited upgrade cycle from customers and businesses. HP Inc. on Wednesday reported the first increase in PC sales in two years.

At the same time, its high-powered servers have been endorsed by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, who praised his company’s “great partnership” with Dell at its GTC conference and said that “nobody is better at building end-to-end systems of very large scale for the enterprise than Dell.”

The firm “has become a really important part of the AI ecosystem, and it still hasn’t gotten enough credit for that,” said Doug Clinton, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management. 

“Both the PC and the server businesses will drive growth in coming years, and that’s supportive of both the stock and the multiple. We really see it as both a growth and a value play, since the growth story is still under-appreciated and the multiple is very low relative to other AI plays.”

Shares have climbed 127% this year, and are coming off a six-day rally, their longest streak since July. The stock fell 3% on Thursday. Much of this year’s gain has come in the wake of Dell’s previous report, which showed AI fueling massive demand for its servers.

One reason Dell may be somewhat off the radar of investors is that, even though it has a market capitalization in excess of $127 billion — making it larger than the vast majority of S&P 500 components — it isn’t a member of the large-cap equity index. It had previously not been eligible given its multiple share classes, but S&P Dow Jones Indices scrapped a rule preventing such companies from inclusion last year. 

Analysts expect Dell to be added, and view its inclusion as a potential catalyst for the stock. Super Micro Computer Inc., another play on AI servers, was added in March, despite having a market cap below $50 billion.

The S&P 500 is rebalanced quarterly, with the next scheduled to occur in June. Becoming a component would open Dell up to a new universe of investors who use the S&P 500 as their benchmark, as well as flows into passive funds that track the index.

“Dell remains an under-owned and underweighted stock and with the potential catalysts of AI and potential inclusion in the S&P,” Bank of America analyst Wamsi Mohan wrote in a May 29 report in which he raised his price target, citing the beneficial impact from AI servers, high-end storage and PCs.

BofA’s higher target is a reflection of how analysts are bullish on the stock. More than 80% of the firms tracked by Bloomberg recommend buying the shares, and Morgan Stanley has it as a top pick, calling it the best stock to play server momentum, inflecting storage demand, and an improving PC market.

Read more: Dell’s Sales Seen Recovering on AI Servers: Preview 

That growing optimism has prevented the multiple from getting into nosebleed territory. The consensus for the company’s net 2025 earnings has risen by 7.6% over the past month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, while the revenue consensus is up 1.3% over that period.

Shares trade at 22 times estimated earnings, a notable discount to the Nasdaq 100 Index, and cheaper than other AI plays, including Nvidia, Super Micro, and Microsoft Corp. However, Dell’s multiple is a record for the stock, and well above its five-year average of 5.8.

“Dell is becoming an increasingly strategic vendor in AI, but there’s a lot more appreciation for this than there was a few months ago,” said Dan Flax, senior research analyst at Neuberger Berman. “Demand for AI systems remains healthy, but other parts of the business remain cyclical, and if we see a macro downturn, even a growth story as powerful as AI could slow down.”

Tech Chart of the Day

Salesforce Inc. shares fell as much as 19% on Thursday, a drop that would represent its biggest one-day percentage decline in more than 15 years. The selloff came after the cloud-based software firm said sales growth in the current quarter will stall to its slowest in history.

Top Tech Stories

  • Tesla Inc. is a company in disarray. Layoffs are mounting. Morale is shattered. Its stock is cratering and sales are anemic. And, some investors say, it’s got a distracted leader at the helm.
  • HP Inc. reported quarterly revenue that topped analysts’ estimates, including the first increase in PC sales in two years, an optimistic signal for a long-awaited rebound in the market.
  • Apple Inc. is seeking a senior engineer to help build a television and sports app for Android, a sign the company is finally bringing its TV+ service to the rival smartphone platform.
  • Generative artificial intelligence is only just starting to make its economic impact felt, OpenAI Inc. Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati said.
  • Amazon.com Inc. is increasing its stake in Grubhub to as much as 18% and expanding its partnership with the food delivery service to allow US users to order takeout directly on Amazon’s website and shopping app.

Earnings Due Thursday

  • Postmarket
    • Dell Technologies
    • Marvell Technology
    • Zscaler
    • MongoDB
    • NetApp Inc
    • Elastic
    • HashiCorp
    • SentinelOne
    • Asana
    • Ambarella
    • PagerDuty Inc

--With assistance from Subrat Patnaik.

(Updates to market open.)

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.