Google shares dive after early release of poor earnings

Trading on Google shares suspended after 9% dive in stock price

Google surprised Wall Street today by prematurely releasing a lackluster earnings report hours ahead of schedule. The company's stock dove more than 9% before trading was suspended.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Google unintentionally released its third-quarter earnings report early Thursday afternoon. The report showed a 20% drop in the company's profits as total costs rose and advertising prices slid.

The announcement brought on a flurry of trading on the stock market. The selloff of Google shares dropped the company's stock price enough that the Nasdaq suspended trading.

Google, which had been scheduled to post its quarterly earnings report after the close of trading today, reported net revenue of $11.33 billion, missing market expectations of $11.86 billion.

In a Google+ blog post today, the company laid the blame on the early release squarely on the company that prints its financial documents.

"Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization," posted Google Investor Relations. "We have ceased trading on NASDAQ while we work to finalize the document. Once it's finalized we will release our earnings, resume trading on NASDAQ and hold our earnings call as normal at 1:30PST."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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