Sell Apple, Buy Google—The Next Great Rotation?


Shares in Google hit an all-time high in intraday trading on Monday as Apple shares continued to fall, taking its market capitalization to below $400 billion for the first time in more than a year.

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These differing fortunes have led some to believe that a rotation could be playing out with Google becoming the dominant technology firm as Apple falls from grace.

Google shares hit an all-time high of $821.50 on Monday and have climbed 15 percent year-to-date. The tech giant is now firmly in third position among U.S. companies in terms of market value, with just Apple and Exxon Mobil ahead.

"Imagine what life would be without Google," Michael Thompson, managing director of global market intelligence at S&P Capital IQ told CNBC Tuesday.

"Google continues to figure out how to change, it's like the Microsoft of this decade, they've changed behavior, but not just in the business sense but across everybody."

In contrast, Apple's stock hit a 52-week low on Monday, closing at $420 a share. The stock has plummeted 40 percent since its all-time high in September last year, and has lost roughly $262 billion in market capitalization. That is almost as much as last year's reading of gross domestic product (GDP) for Greece, which was $299 billion, according to the World Bank.

(Read More: Apple Smartwatch Out of 'Experimentation Phase': Report)

Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf EP took to social media site Twitter on Friday warning that the stock is likely to still be at risk. He gave it a $411 price target.

"The bulls are in Google's camp and the bears are in Apple's camp at the moment," Neil Mawston, the executive director of Strategy Analytics told

"After a strong run in recent years, Apple might be subject to some profit taking. Apple's share price may stay a little soft this year until it becomes clearer what their next blockbuster product is."

Apple may have changed the way commerce is handled for the web, according to Thompson, but he said it was hard to predict innovation and innovation was the key to how its stock had grown to such an enormous price.

"It's hard to imagine that they could come up with more of the game changers that they have," he said.

(Read More: Two Things Apple Must Do to Catch Up With Samsung: Analyst)

As a regular visitor to the Apple store he said he now sees more radical changes to products rather than the incremental updates that he saw previously. It will be hard for Apple to grow the way they did as they are currently so well capitalized, he said.

"Apple is a 'hits' business not unlike game publishers or car companies. A great product can make the company. No new products hurt value disproportionately," Victor Basta, managing director of Magister Advisors, a boutique M&A advisor in the technology field, told

"Google has a structurally sound and continually growing ad revenue franchise. Not being in the 'hits' business is giving them the valuation edge right now."

As well as advertising, the mobile sector may be a key area in which Apple is found wanting. In 2012, Google's Android operating system had 68.8 percent of the market share for the world's top five smartphones, according to IDC Research, compared to Apple's 18.8 percent with its iOS software.

"We're seeing Apple losing share to Samsung in the very high end of the smartphone market," Mark Newman, a consumer electronics analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein told

"Where Samsung wins, Google also wins as these phones are running Google's Android."

Meanwhile, legendary investor Warren Buffett backed Apple when speaking to CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday, telling the company to ignore activist investor David Einhorn who has been calling for Apple to issue dividend-paying preferred shares to return some of its $137 billion in cash back to shareholders.

"The best thing you can do with a business is run it well. And if you run it well, the stock behaves fine over time," Buffett said, adding that it's possible that Apple may have too much cash.

(Read More: Buffett's Advice to Apple's Tim Cook: Ignore Einhorn)

"I would run the business in such a manner as to create the most value over the next five to 10 years. You can't run a business to push the stock price up on a daily basis."