Google stock plunges after poor Q3 results accidentally released

Google Inc.‘s 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%, 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 scheduled […]

Google Inc.‘s 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%, 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 scheduled for release after the close of regular trading Thursday.

Trading resumed at 3:20 p.m. Google stock was trading down 8.5% at $691 some five minutes later.

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% 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 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% 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%.

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% 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.

Media Articles

Laas Turnbull joins ZoomerMedia

Media veteran named co-publisher of Zoomer, takes on content and IT teams

iPhones top list of preferred second screen devices

New Seevibes statistics shows Android losing ground to home comupters

Why sports apps are winning with fans

Usage is exploding as sports apps keep consumers deeply engaged

Mediative adds Dine.to and two auto sites to network

New sites boost network's reach with auto and foodie audiences

WestJet launches new in-flight entertainment system

WestJet Connect will offer advertising 'down the road' says spokesperson

Bell Media adds nine YouTube creators to its MCN roster

Much Digital Studios has earned 10 million+ video views since May launch

Clear Channel launches digital column network

Six-foot tall columns will display advertising in sync at busy commuter hub

Torstar buys majority interest in digital media company

Move comes as company posts a $1.1 million second quarter loss

Pan Am Games a TV and social media hit: IPG Mediabrands

More than 60% of the population watched at least part of the coverage