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Google’s share price falls 8% after premature results release

Warwick Ashford

Google’s share price fell after disappointing third quarter financial results were released early by mistake and trading in shares was suspended for two-and-a-half hours.

The internet company’s quarterly profits fell 20% from a year earlier, to $2.18bn and net revenue of $11.3bn came in $500m under the average analyst estimate, according to Bloomberg.

The company blamed financial printing firm RR Donnelley for filing an early draft of the results, which had been expected after the closing bell, according to the BBC.

Google’s shares were down 9% by the time trading was suspended, but when trading resumed, the shares recovered slightly to end the day 8% lower.

In a statement, after the inadvertent release, Google said: "We have ceased trading on Nasdaq while we work to finalise the document.

In the finalised document, Google highlighted consolidated revenues, which include websites that generate traffic for Google’s ads, of $14bn, an increase of 45% compared with the same period in 2011.

“We had a strong quarter. Revenue was up 45% year-on-year, and, at just 14 years old, we cleared our first $14 billion revenue quarter,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google.

"I am also really excited about the progress we're making creating a beautifully simple, intuitive Google experience across all devices."

Google value falls below Microsoft

The fall in Google's share price took the company's value below that of Microsoft, which it had overtaken earlier this month.

Analysts said the release of the results three hours early had robbed Google of the opportunity to “massage” the results and provide context in a conference call with analysts.

Google’s overall results were hit by costs related to the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn earlier this year and the stronger dollar, analysts said.

The company said that if foreign exchange rates had been unchanged, its revenue would have been $136m higher.

Analysts said that Google, like Facebook, has not yet translated to mobile devices the success it has had with desktop advertising.

Ads generated on smartphones can cost about 40% less than those on traditional computers and about 25% less than on tablets.

However, in the conference call with analysts, CEO Larry Page said Google is well-positioned to make money from mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.

“As we transition from one screen to multiscreens, Google has enormous opportunities to innovate and drive ever higher monetisation,” he said.


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