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Google(GOOG - Get Report) fits the mold of being a less obvious name. Yes, the $261 billion tech stock is one of the biggest names on the
Nasdaq, but the IT sector hasn't seen the same breakneck pace that healthcare and consumer stocks have this year. With shares coming off of a bounce off of support this week, now looks like a pretty opportunistic time to build a position in GOOG.
Early funds should take note -- they only picked up 442,610 shares of GOOG in the first quarter, so they've probably got some dry powder left. Even so, Google was one of the most heavily-bought names by institutions last quarter.
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Google owns a gargantuan 60% share of the lucrative but fragmented search business. That search prowess, in turn, fuels around 80% of Google's revenues through paid search products. All of the cash thrown off by Google's core search unit helps to fund some of the side projects that the firm undertakes -- and as you might expect, some have been more lucrative than others. While Google does have the money to subsidize economically poor projects long-term, that sort of action is destructive to value, so it's ill advised.
In an exceptionally low interest rate environment, Google has some big challenges with its huge $43 billion net cash position. It's hard, after all, to earn a meaningful rate of return on that much cash. So even though Google is better equipped to reinvest money internally, it's even better off returning a large swath of that cash to shareholders. Cash management concerns aside, the sheer profitability that Google turns out makes it a great core tech holding, even if it's not super cheap.