(InvestorPlace) The quantum computing market is forecast to reach $2.2 billion by 2026, according to IQT Research. The number of installed quantum computers around the world is projected to reach 180 in 2026, with about 45 machines produced in that year alone. That’s a quantum leap forward from today. Quantum computers are now moving from academic theory to big business applications. IQT News summarizes article by 20-year business journalist Joel Baglole who looks at four quantum computing stocks:

International Business Machines (IBM)
IBM has long been at the forefront of quantum computing. One of the oldest computer companies in the world, Big Blue currently runs IBM Quantum, a division of the company that is designed to equip clients with practical quantum skills, and provide them with access to world-class expertise and technology to advance the field of quantum computing.
IBM scientists are working internally to advance foundational quantum computing research, all designed to offer real-world applications. Some corporations are already lining up to work with IBM in the area of quantum computing, including automaker Daimler (ETR:DAI). IBM’s share price is up 28% from its March low to Monday’s $120.09 close, but has lagged the performance of many of its technology peers. Quantum computing could give the stock the ot in the arm shareholders have been looking for.

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)
Alibaba currently runs the Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory which government officials and scientists in China refer to simply as “The Laboratory.” Alibaba’s research facility aims to take the study and applications of quantum theory to the next level, heralding new technologies and platforms that can be used commercially in the areas of information security, connectivity and data analysis and storage.
Alibaba’s Laboratory is developing quantum computers that can provide ground-breaking security for banks and e-commerce companies, as well as data centers. The Chinese government is fully behind Alibaba’s work in quantum computing and has said that China should be a global leader.
BABA stock has jumped around a lot this year and currently trades at just above $270 a share. But analysts see the BABA#stock price skyrocketing as high as $2,324 a share in the next 12-months.

AT&T (NYSE:T)
The AT&T Foundry innovation center in Palo Alto, California has joined forces with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to create the Alliance for Quantum Technologies (AQT). The Alliance is focused on bringing industry, government, and academia together to speed quantum technology development and create practical applications for it.
AT&T is also working on a research and development program called named INtelligent Quantum NEtworks and Technologies (INQNET). The program is working on developing security in communications through future quantum networking technologies.
All this work bodes well for the future of AT&T and its shareholders. T stock remains more than 38% below its 52-week high of $39.55. At its current price of $28.62 a share, the stock looks pretty affordable.

Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU)
Baidu is a lesser-known Chinese technology company, but the multinational technology company that specializes in artificial intelligence is a significant player in quantum computing.
Beijing-based Baidu has its own institute for quantum computing dedicated to the application of quantum computing software and information technology.
In September of this year, Baidu unveiled “Quantum Leaf,” a cloud quantum computing platform designed for programming, simulating and executing quantum computer workloads.
BIDU stock is up 62% from its March low at $133.04 currently. Baidu, which operates the largest internet browser in China, looks to have a bright future.

NOTE: On the date of publication, Joe Baglole, the author of this article,  held a long position in BABA.

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