The $2.7 billion Fidelity Select Software & Computer Services Portfolio (FSCSX), with 12 percent of assets in Google, and the $2.1 billion Select Technology Portfolio, with 8.8 percent, led U.S. mutual funds with at least $1 billion in percentage holdings dedicated to the Mountain View, California-based company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on Aug. 31 regulatory filings. Fidelity’s $9.6 billion OTC Portfolio had the seventh-biggest concentration with 6.3 percent.
Google’s shares reached $1,000 for the first time amid growing optimism about new advertising for wireless devices and online video, joining a small club of U.S. stocks. The Internet company, along with its investors, is benefiting from ads for new formats after expanding beyond delivering advertisements alongside search results on desktop computers. Fidelity’s Contrafund (FCNTX), the firm’s biggest stock mutual fund, bought shares of Google in the third quarter, manager Will Danoff wrote in a commentary posted on the Boston-based money manager’s website.
“Because we believe the firm possessed superior operating advantages stemming from its dominant market share in Internet search and highly innovative culture, we increased our position in the stock on its weakness,” wrote Danoff, whose $101 billion Contrafund holds 6.83 million Google shares, the most of any Fidelity fund. (FFIDX)
Fidelity has struggled to retain clients in its actively managed stock funds amid a surge in popularity for index-based mutual funds and ETFs. Assets in Fidelity’s active stock funds dropped 16 percent in the five years through 2012.
Fidelity’s combined holdings make it the largest single owner of Google stock, with about 18.5 million shares, followed by BlackRock Inc. (BLK), the world’s biggest asset manager, with 15.3 million shares.
The gain in Google helped Select Software & Computer Services return 33 percent this year, beating 73 percent of rival funds. Contrafund has returned 25 percent, ahead of 59 percent of competitors.
Google rose 13 percent to $1,007.98 at 1:10 p.m. in New York. The stock, sold at $85 in a 2004 initial public offering, has risen every year since except for 2010 and 2008.
Fidelity is the second-biggest mutual-fund manager in the U.S., with $1.7 trillion in assets. Vanguard Group Inc. is the biggest.
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