At the beginning of the year, Mark Mahaney, top internet analyst at RBC Capital, said Amazon, Netflix and Facebook were 2015's tech stocks to watch, alongside smaller players like Yelp, Shutterstock and Pandora Media.
But now Mahaney is shuffling his deck. He sees Amazon, Priceline, LinkedIn, Expedia and Google as the top large technology company stocks, while Pandora, GrubHub and advertising data platform Criteo lead smaller companies.
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The change, he told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Friday, comes as Silicon Valley is abuzz with new vocabulary like "FANG" and "unicorn."
Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google—known collectively as FANG, a Jim Cramer moniker—have gotten Wall Street's attention, pulling advertising and subscription dollars from traditional media companies like Viacom and ESPN.
But these and other public companies are seeing competition from so-called unicorns, private start-ups with valuations of $1 billion or more, Mahaney said.
Unicorns can offer high salaries and pull top talent from other companies, Mahaney said. So firms with strong fundamentals —not just FANGs—are now the best bet, he said.
Amazon is one of the turnaround stories of the year, according to Mahaney, after it underperformed in 2014. In 2015, the shares have jumped more than 70 percent.
"There were several inflection point stories this year, and the top of that list has to be Amazon," he said, pointing to revenue growth acceleration and margin expansion. "Stocks like Amazon have great fundamental trajectories, so we'll stick with them."
LinkedIn, another top pick, is adding customers to its Corporate Recruiting Solutions services. And online travel companies like Priceline and Expedia should see bookings grow, with new opportunities in vacation rentals, China and Latin America, Mahaney said.
While the stocks of Google and Facebook are both up over 20 percent year to date, Mahaney favors Google's outlook.
Although shares of Facebook have seen a couple of nice rallies in the past year, the upside hovers between 10 and 15 percent, Mahaney said. Meanwhile, owners of stock in Google, which returns cash to shareholders, can see returns of 20 to 25 percent, he said.
Plus, Mahaney said, Google is well-positioned to match job offers dollar for dollar with unicorn companies, and under the new Alphabet umbrella, there are more leadership titles to incentivize top-notch coders to stick around.
Another big focus for Mahaney: Now that many of the FANG stocks are trading close to their peaks, it makes it more difficult to create upside, with shares of Netflix, for instance, up 91 percent over the past year.
"Take that Netflix stock, that was at the top of our list earlier this year," he said. "It can't be one of our top picks now, just given the rise in valuation and stock price."