Quantum computing technology can solve critical computational problems across a wide array of services including finance, cloud security, drug discovery, and supply chain and logistics.
Cognitive systems that run on classical computers can find patterns and insights by deciphering large amounts of data. However, in absence of any such recognizable patterns, these systems are not of much use.
This is the reason behind the growing prominence of viable and scalable quantum computers as they can provide solutions to problems wherein recognizable patterns do not exist and address issues beyond current advanced supercomputing capabilities.
Moreover, coronavirus crisis triggered need for seamless communications, data transfer, model capability boost and simulation of complex data is expected to drive the demand for quantum computing consulting solutions.
Growth in worldwide spending, with government and academic institutions leading the drive, on quantum computing is estimated to be a key catalyst in 2021 and beyond.
As automation and optimization become mainstream, the utility of quantum computers for material simulation applications to solve complex simultaneous operations and simulate molecules and materials for obtaining accurate output across automotive, chemicals, energy and power, and healthcare industries, is poised to grow.
Per a ResearchAndMarkets.com report, this particular market is expected to hit $64.99 billion by 2030 from $507.1 million in 2019, at a CAGR of 56%.
Further, an Allied Market Research report, indicates that the enterprise quantum computing market worldwide is anticipated to hit $5.85 billion by 2025.
This persuasive opportunity is alluring companies to work in collaboration with quantum physicists to deliver solutions that facilitate the development of fault-tolerant algorithms.
Investors looking to tap the quantum computing boom in 2021 can bet on Baidu BIDU, Microsoft MSFT, Tencent Holdings Limited TCEHY and Alphabet GOOGL.
These companies are focusing on commercialization and democratization of technology to aid enterprises in accelerating computational processes and enhancing their business productivity.
Year-to-Date Price Performance
Let us see what these companies are up to in the embryonic quantum computing field and what makes them compelling bets.
Beijing, China-based internet browser operator Baidu’s expertise in artificial intelligence and its growing focus on quantum computing makes it an inevitable pick.
The company has a dedicated institute for quantum computing named Baidu Quantum Computing Institute with the distinguished quantum computing expert Professor Runyao Duan at its helm. Duan intends to transform the institute into a top-notch establishment and integrate quantum computing tech across the company’s various business operations, especially AI.
In September 2020, Baidu unveiled details on its latest cloud-based quantum computing platform Quantum Leaf, which is designed for programming, simulating, and executing quantum computer workloads. Quantum Leaf’s aim is to provide programmers with a resilient architecture, well suited for quantum-infrastructure-as-a-service set-ups.
Markedly, Quantum Leaf is centered on QCompute, a Python-based open-source development kit, which leverages high-performance simulator and a hybrid programming language. Moreover, management stated that the new platform complements its Paddle Quantum development toolkit, released in early 2020.
This will aid users to utilize prebuilt objects and modules in the quantum programming platform and develop and execute quantum circuits on the simulator or cloud simulators and hardware.
Moreover, the company, focusing on Quantum AI advantage, also updated specifics on its new cloud-based quantum pulse computing service Quanlse, which is an attempt to bridge the gap between software and hardware by offering a service to design and implement pulse sequences as part of quantum tasks.
Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for 2021 has improved 4.7% to $10.00 over the past 60 days, which highlights bullish sentiments for the stock.
Currently, Baidu sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Microsoft’s Quantum Network is growing with various kits and libraries meant for quantum machine-learning applications.
The tech giant’s cloud computing platform Azure unveiled a full-stack, open cloud ecosystem Azure Quantum, which is a diverse set of quantum services. In partnership with 1QBit, Honeywell, IonQ and QCI, the company strives to offer robust quantum solutions, software and hardware.
As part of the company’s Quantum Development Kit, it is working on enhancing its “quantum-friendly” latest programming language Q# or Q-sharp.
The tech-giant’s goal is to develop a universal quantum computer with sturdy nanowire-based hardware architecture featuring error-correcting mechanisms.
Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for fiscal 2021 has improved 5.8% to $6.73 over the past 60 days. Currently, Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
It may be noted that Microsoft’s cloud rival, Amazon AMZN has forayed into quantum computing space with Amazon Braket. Notably, Amazon Braket is a fully managed quantum computing service that enables customers to explore and experiment with quantum computing hardware by providing a single development environment to build quantum algorithms. Further, the service enables testing of these algorithms on quantum computers.
Another China-based Internet company Tencent is taking slow but steady strides in the quantum computing space.
In October 2019, the company announced that it will make an investment of 500 billion yuan (roughly $70 billion) over the upcoming five years in “new infrastructure” technology including cloud computing, AI, cybersecurity, blockchain, servers, quantum computing, big data centers, supercomputer centres, IoT operating systems and 5G networks to cash in on increasing demand for advanced business software and cloud services.
Moreover, the company’s dedicated Tencent Quantum Lab, with renowned scientist, Shengyu Zhang, as its Laboratory Director, seeks to explore the connect of fundamental quantum theory with real-life practical applications.
Further, the company’s Quantum Computing Cloud is currently under construction. It seeks to provide a powerful and convenient cloud-sharing platform for quantum computers and explore the infinite possibilities of quantum computing.
Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for 2021 has improved 4.8% to $2.39 over the past 60 days. Currently, Tencent carries a Zacks Rank of 2.
Meanwhile, Alphabet’s Google is striving to gain a competitive edge over International Business Machines IBM. In fact, Google claimed Quantum Supremacy in 2019, on the back of Sycamore quantum computer, per its white paper.
However, the claim is disputed as researchers and other members in the quantum computing fraternity have been insisting on realistic application of the tech and not on paper.
Nonetheless, with open-source Python software toolkit (named Cirq), Google is aiding developers to experiment with quantum computing algorithms.
Moreover, open-source platform on GitHub, named OpenFermion, is aimed at developing robust quantum circuits by enhancing electronic structure package of quantum computers.
Further, Google’s TensorFlow Quantum, an ML framework that can construct quantum data sets, prototype hybrid quantum and classic machine learning models, offers support to quantum circuit simulators, and train discriminative and generative quantum models.
Moreover, ongoing research and new use cases of Google’s Bristlecone, a universal quantum computer with a qubit count of 72, remains a key catalyst.
Notably, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for 2021 has improved 8.1% to $62.30 over the past 60 days. Alphabet carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), at present.
Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2021
In addition to the stocks discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top tickers for the entirety of 2021?
These 10 are painstakingly hand-picked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. They are our primary picks to buy and hold.
Start Your Access to the New Zacks Top 10 Stocks >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Baidu, Inc. (BIDU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Tencent Holding Ltd. (TCEHY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research