On Thursday, Google's printer accidentally filed its quarterly financial report with the SEC earlier than Google had intended. The snafu, combined with Google's lower-than-expected earnings, wreaked havoc on the company's share price and trading in its stock was temporarily halted.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Matthew Philips reported, "Google got burned on Thursday by a very old-school mistake: Its printer messed up. Shares of Google (GOOG) plunged 9 percent in the afternoon after a lousy earnings report was mistakenly sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission before the company intended. The stock stopped trading on Nasdaq (NDAQ) after Google’s share price fell from $755 to $681 between 12:30 p.m. and 12:38 p.m. This, of course, is why firms tend to wait until the market has closed before releasing earnings reports."
Liz Gannes from All Things D noted that the company's results "were worse than expected." She added, "Analysts were expecting revenue of $11.86 billion and profit of $10.65 per share, but the company turned in $11.33 billion and $9.03 per share."
InformationWeek's Thomas Claburn explained, "Google reported $14.10 billion in revenue for the quarter that concluded on Sept. 30, 2012, an increase of 45% from the same period in 2011. But it was the company's earnings per share, $9.03 (non-GAAP), that spooked investors. A Thomson Reuters poll put analyst expectations at $10.65. Wells Fargo Securities had anticipated $9.93 per share. Overall, earnings declined 20% from a year ago. GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2012 was $2.18 billion. In the third quarter of 2011, it was $2.73 billion. Google's Motorola Mobility division accounted for much of the loss: $527 million, reflecting a 20% decline in revenues (GAAP)."
In a conference call related to the report, Google CEO Larry Page downplayed the bad news and focused instead on the company's opportunities in mobile, saying, “As we transition from one screen to multiscreens, Google has enormous opportunities to innovate and drive ever higher monetization." PCWorld's Juan Carlos Perez wrote, "To back up his claim, Page said that Google’s annual run rate of mobile-related revenue is $8 billion, mostly composed of ad sales but also containing revenue from the purchase of content, like books, movies and music, and of applications on the company’s Play store."
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