Google Overshadowed by Apple; Still a Major Player in the Tech Sector?

Google Overshadowed by AppleMake no mistake about it; Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) will become the first company in the world to achieve a market capitalization in excess of one trillion dollars. Or at least I believe so. (I bet the White House wishes it owned Apple. What a help it would be, given the country’s massive $18.0-trillion national debt.)

As many of you know, I have long been a bull on Apple. But in all honesty, before, I would have never surmised it would become the first company to reach a trillion-dollar valuation.

While Apple is one of the top technology stocks and a potential buying opportunity for some at this stage, there are other tech stocks that offer excellent holdings in this area and are also big players in the tech space.

But the one tech giant I’d like to take a closer look at today is Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG).

Google: Major Tech Stock Still Worth a Closer Look

Google is off its high of $604.00 at this time, so for some, it may be a buying opportunity to watch for on weakness. Having said that, I’m not recommending investors go out and buy the stock today; instead, I’m just offering a closer look at a tech stock that appears to be doing everything right.

Google Inc Stock Chart Feb 2015

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Google is still going strong, but its recent expansions into other spaces clearly tells us the company is trying to find itself. No longer just a seller of online advertising, the company wants (and needs) to expand into other innovative areas in order to get ahead and remain a company of significance.

It’s true that Google has developed and proven the reliability of its self-driving car that reportedly has been accident-free after driving more than 300,000 miles. But the stock market values more than innovation and concepts; investors want to see ideas and acquisitions turn into profits.

This is why Google must deliver something more substantial to Wall Street. There was “Google Glass,” but it’s not quite there yet and its sales have been put on hold as the company works on a second, better model.

Google has a solid $52.0 billion in free cash on its balance sheet, which should help the company look at innovations and acquisitions and make it more attractive to investors.

Google Needs a Game-Changing Move

The company bought the handset unit of Motorola, Inc. for $12.5 billion in 2012, but this was a disaster. The unit was subsequently passed off to Lenovo Group, Ltd. for only $2.91 billion and a heavy loss. Google remains an investor in the phones and holds onto valuable patents, though.

In the same space, Google will need to continue to drive its “Android” operating system, which remains tops in the world. The system is intuitive and has excellent potential if it can be harnessed properly.

There is also “Google Maps,” which is a great app for location identification and traveling purposes. Applications like this are what Google needs to squeeze money out of in order to become the top player in the tech space.

Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, Inc. to enter into the growing consumer home devices market, which includes thermostats and smoke alarms. For Google, it gives the company another viable revenue stream with next-generation products.

Revenue growth of 16.8% in 2015, followed by 18.2% to $77.71 billion in 2016, is excellent and makes Google attractive to potential stock buyers. Institutions may also see a potential buying opportunity here, with 37.75 million shares acquired on a quarter-to-quarter basis, representing a 14.82% rise in institutional ownership.

So while Apple is the darling of Wall Street at this moment, I definitely wouldn’t count Google out.