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Is Google (GOOG) the New Apple (AAPL)?

Ian Wyatt

There’s a tech stock out there that’s trading above $700 a share and has risen 33% in the past three months alone. Must be Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), right? Wrong.

While Apple is still garnering all the headlines thanks to its iPhone 5 launch and possible iPad Mini unveiling, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been quietly outperforming the world’s most valuable company in recent months.

At $748 a share as of this writing, Google is trading at an all-time high. The stock has risen steadily since late June, spurred along by a strong second-quarter earnings report and the company’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Nothing as glamorous as an iPhone 5, mind you. But even more effective.

It’s rare to see a tech company worth roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars fly under the radar. But that’s essentially what Google has been doing these last three months.

To be sure, Apple’s amazing run hasn’t exactly slowed. The stock has still gained 19.5% these last two months while Google was making an even bigger move. And for the year, there’s no comparison: Apple shares are up 67% for the year; Google shares have “only” risen 15%.

Still, Google’s run might not be over. Its Android dominates the smartphone landscape, owning 68% of the global market in the second quarter – exactly four times the 17% share Apple’s iPhones held. Even after its recent surge, the stock is still trading at just 15 times its projected 2013 earnings.

In addition to the success of its smartphones, Google also continues to be the dominant search-engine platform and, thanks to its YouTube purchase six year ago, in video as well.

Look, practically speaking, Google isn’t Apple. It’s worth $400 billion less than Apple.

Lately, though, Google’s stock has been acting quite Apple-like. And that’s about as lofty a compliment you can give a stock these days.

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