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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Shares Slammed! Company Misses Estimates in Premature Earnings Release

October 18th, 2012

Shares of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) are getting taken behind the woodshed this afternoon after the company’s third quarter earnings results were released about four hours earlier than expected. In what is being called an “unfinished earnings release” Google reported earnings of $9.03 per share on revenues of $11.3 billion. The Street had been expecting EPS of $10.65 on revenues of $11.8 billion.

Shares fell immediately on the news, dropping nearly $70 within moments before to being halted at $687.39, down $68.10 or 9%. Google is blaming RR Donnelley (RRD), the owners of corporate reporting system EDGAR, for filing their 8K without authorization. Shares of RRD fell as much as 7% before recovering slightly.

Information thus far is limited. What can be seen immediately is that Google laid off a significant number of employees in its Motorola Mobility division, lost traction on the critical Cost per Click metric, and apparently failed to find a way to monetize mobile users. Net margins also fell sharply to 27% of revenues compared to 37% last year.

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