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Google passes Apple as top U.S. mutual, hedge fund holding

Google's stint as Wall Street's new darling brought another milestone on Thursday, as shares of the internet search giant passed Apple to become the most-owned stock by the 50 largest actively managed mutual funds in the U.S.

A new Citigroup report examining investments at the end of the fourth quarter names Google as the top holding among the largest mutual and hedge funds. Information compiled by Bloombergfinds Google shares now trading at roughly 25 times the company's profits, versus less than 10 times earnings for Apple. The publication notes that the gap is the widest it's been since June of 2005.

Shares of Google have surged recently, contrary to Wall Street's increasingly cautious outlook on Apple. The prevailing attitude among analysts appears to be that the Cupertino company's earnings are slowing in the face of heightened competition and perceived saturation of the premium smartphone market.

Investors are waiting to see whether Apple can open new avenues for revenue, potentially with a watch-like device or the ever-rumored Apple TV.

Google, meanwhile, is seen to have more room for growth not only in Internet search, where it holds a commanding 67 percent market share, but also in smartphone software. With a 70 percent share of the smartphone market, Android continually pumps money into Google's coffers through search engine traffic, ads and app royalties.

Google closed up $1.22 today at $832.60, while Apple also gained ground to hit $430.58, a $4.92 increase from the morning bell.