Google Shares Down After Premature Earnings Release

Stock Dips 11% After Earnings Disappoint

Google shares fell as much as 11% on Thursday after a disappointing earnings report was prematurely released to the public.

Google shares fell as low as $676 per share on Thursday, down $79.49 each, or 11% , before rallying slightly to finish the day down 8% ($60.49 per share) to close at $695 each.

The culprit was a disappointing earnings report – net income in the third quarter was down 20.3%, while a revenue rise of 18.6% to $11.5 billion fell short of analyst expectations. A draft of the report was released on the Securities and Exchange Commission web site by RR Donnelly around midday, hours before it intended release at 4:30 p.m. after market close. As a result of the decline, trading in Google stock was halted, resuming at 3:20 p.m.

In a statement R.R. Donnelley said it was “fully engaged” in an investigation to determine how the leak took place.

Later, on a conference call with analysts to discuss the quarterly results, Google CEO Larry Page apologized for the mix-up, adding that he was pleased with the company’s performance.