Google's 3Q Earnings Leak Early, Stock Plunges; Trading Resumes

Google stock dropsEditor's note: Google shares have resumed trading after a halt due to an unauthorized early release of disappointing quarterly results.

According to Reuters
, "Google has officially released their Q3 earnings report, adding that the initial report was erroneously released early and 'financial results reported in the prior Form 8-K have not changed.'" CEO Larry Page said, "Revenue was up 45% year-on-year, and, at just 14 years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter. I am also really excited about the progress we're making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices."

CNBC reports that Google released a statement blaming the mistakenly early report on its financial printer, RR Donnelly. "We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document," the statement says in part. "Once it's finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on NASDAQ and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30 PM PT."

NEW YORK (AP) - Google Inc.'s (GOOG) stock plunged suddenly on Thursday afternoon after a contractor prematurely released the search company's third-quarter earnings report.

The stock fell $68.19, or 9 percent, to $687.30 before trading was halted to give investors a chance to digest the results. The company's quarterly performance fell well short of analyst estimates. Google's report had been slated for release after the close of regular trading Thursday.

Trading was expected to resume by 3:20 p.m. ET.

The sell-off reflects a reversal of the optimistic sentiment that had propelled Google's stock to a new all-time high earlier this year. The stock had surged 27 percent in the three months before Thursday's unwelcome surprise.

Google blamed printer R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. for filing the company's quarterly statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission more than three hours ahead of schedule.

"We are fully engaged in an investigation to determine how this event took place and are pursuing our first obligation, which is to serve our valued customer," R.R. Donnelley said in a statement.

In the regulatory filing, Google said it earned $2.18 billion, or $6.53 per share, during the three months ending in September. That compared with net income of $2.73 billion, or $8.33 per share, last year. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., later confirmed the results in a press release.

The earnings would have been $9.03 per share, if not for Google's accounting costs for employee stock compensation and restructuring charges related to the acquisition of Motorola. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting $10.63 per share, on average.

Revenue climbed 45 percent from last year to $14.1 billion. Excluding compensation for websites that generate traffic for Google's ads, revenue was $11.33 billion. Analysts were expecting $11.86 billion.

Excluding this summer's acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility, Google's revenue rose 18 percent.

Motorola Mobility, which Google acquired for $12.4 billion in May, played a major role in the third-quarter letdown. The device maker suffered an operating loss of $527 million, more than tripling from the same time last year when it was still an independent company.

Google is trying to improve Motorola Mobility's performance by laying off about 20 percent of its workforce - about 4,000 employees - and closing one-third of its 90 plants and office. Those cost-cutting resulted in $349 million in charges during the quarter.

The strong dollar may also have contributed to Google's miss. The company said that if foreign exchange rates had been stable, its revenue would have been $136 million higher.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What is Short Selling?

Make a profit when stocks prices fall.

View Course »

Basics Of The Stock Market

Stock Market 101 - everything you need to know but were afraid to ask!

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Smarter than Yahoo, made better investments, but heck it's still just a FREE Search engine for a billions folks! can the billions afford their stock price? NO

October 22 2012 at 8:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Google will no doubt remain among the more dominate players and Giants in the Tech. Sectors, and acquiring Motorola was just another one of it's smart moves.

October 19 2012 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here is a big piece of advise for Google-get rid of the Six Sigma crap that came over with Motorola

October 19 2012 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So it's making around $26.00 a year return or 3.8 percent. At $687.00 a share, if it goes the Facebook route will only take you 25 years to recover your investment.

October 19 2012 at 5:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the new Bing commercial is to blame.

October 19 2012 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Google makes a lot of money off music piracy.

October 18 2012 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

WHAT , another example of corporate mombo jombo ! I'm confused as usual . I'm thankful I have a good advisor .

October 18 2012 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"We are fully engaged in an investigation to determine how this event took place and are pursuing our first obligation, which is to serve our valued customer,"

Go after whoever benefited during the "accidental" release and you'll most likely end up in Tel Aviv. Just another friendly Mossad accident I'd say.

October 18 2012 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to xturk937's comment

the billionaires and others talking about a fiscal cliff or another economic crash are closer to the truth than most ppl think. google and many other companies have probably been hyping their profits, in hopes the economy comes back to keep ppl from selling stock and causing a stock crash.

October 18 2012 at 7:45 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

isn't this what you market folks like to call a "correction"?

October 18 2012 at 7:34 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply