Top picks 2013: Google

This tech leader remains a top buy for those searching for gains in 2013.

By TheStockAdvisors Jan 3, 2013 9:58AM
The Google logo is seen on a podium and projected on a screen at Google headquarters in Mountain View Califorina Paul Sakuma AP By Ian Wyatt, $100k Portfolio

Sometimes it's easy to overlook the obvious. Popular big-name stocks can be considered crowded trades in which the big money has already been made.

And the mighty can certainly fall, as we've seen with Apple (AAPL), which tumbled 25% in just two months in 2012. But unlike Apple, Google (GOOG) has found its legs and recovered some ground after a 15% tumble last fall.

Of course, Google is a huge name in the Internet advertising and search world with little competition. And Google is gaining a strong foothold in the smart phone world thanks to the success of its Android.

Although Apple has a respectable market share lead in the U.S., Android leads comfortably in Europe, China and Brazil.

And while Apple may be considered the undisputed leader in the tablet market, Google is closing the gap and now is expected to have around 43% of that market. And don't forget its YouTube and Gmail franchises.

While the financial numbers don't dazzle, they suggest that solid growth should continue. The company is sitting on $45 billion in cash and carries little debt.

Earnings are expected to grow 16% annually for the next five years. And the recovering economy should continue to feed advertising dollars to the bottom line. Giventhis outlook, Google is our top pick for 2013.

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