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Friday, May 25, 2012, 08:55 am PT (11:55 am ET)

Apple tops Goldman Sachs VIP list for hedge fund holdings

A new list from Goldman Sachs puts Apple at the top of a list of the most important stocks for hedge funds.

The investment bank has released its Hedge Fund Trend Monitor report for the first quarter of 2012, according to Market Folly. The list includes the 50 stocks that appear most often among the "top 10 holdings of fundamental focused hedge funds," the publication noted.

Apple had a clear lead with 106 funds listing it in their top 10, followed by Google with 73 funds choosing it. Microsoft and Qualcomm were also popular, coming in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Despite some recent fluctuations in Apple's stock price, the majority of analysts are bullish on the company's stock. Goldman Sachs itself raised its price target for Apple to $750 last month ahead of the company's earnings report.

Independent analyst Andy Zaky of Bullish Cross initiated last week his fifth buy rating for Apple since 2006 and the first in 11 months. Zaky, who says he publishes buy ratings only under "extraordinary circumstances," temporarily recommended Apple as a strong buy between $500 and $530 a share and as a buy between $530 and $550 a share.

Apple stock price year to date

Source: Apple stock price year to date | Google Finance


Piper Jaffray on Friday issued a lengthy note to investors detail 10 key points that are expected to push Apple's stock as high as $1,000 over the next few years. Analyst Gene Munster pointed to continued innovation from Apple on upcoming products such as new Macs, the sixth-generation iPhone and a rumored Apple television. He also viewed good relationships with the carriers, sustainable gross margins and the China growth story as among Apple's critical strengths.

Year to date, shares of Apple are up roughly 38 percent. The stock soared past the $600 mark in April before settling back down some in May.