(By Balaseshan) Search giant Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) reported a 20.3 percent drop in quarterly earnings due to employee stock compensation and restructuring charges related to the acquisition of Motorola.
The company's disappointed third quarter results, which missed the consensus, had a swift impact on the stock, sending it down more than 9 percent before trading was halted at 12:51 pm. The stock resumed trading at around 3:20 pm.
Google blamed the incident on RR Donnelley & Sons Co. (NASDAQ:RRD), the owners of corporate reporting system EDGAR, for filing their 8K without authorization, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"Earlier this morning RR Donnelley, the financial printer, informed us that they had filed our draft 8K earnings statement without authorization. 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 1:30 PM PT," the WSJ quoted Google saying.
Adjusted earnings fell to $3.01 billion, or $9.03 per share, from $3.18 billion, or $9.72 per share. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, revenue rose to $11.33 billion from $7.51 billion. Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of $10.65 per share on revenue of $11.86 billion for the third quarter.
"Google failed to meet expectations and then also mistakenly released in the middle of the day. Google is a big company and on top of the fact that they missed estimates, they talked about advertising in the online world not doing as well as previously thought," Giri Cherukuri, a portfolio manager for Oakbrook Investments LLC, told the Bloomberg.
Barclays Equity Research's analyst Anthony DiClemente told Deadline.com that the Google sell off "presents a buying opportunity" since the Street "was overly optimistic going into the quarter and did not fully discount the potential [Motorola Mobility] drag on the business".
"The core business seems to have slowed down pretty significantly, which is shocking. The only conclusion I can look at is, search is happening more and more outside of Google, meaning people are searching more through apps than through Google search," B. Riley analyst Sameet Sinha told Reuters.
"There's a feeling that September wasn't a great month generally for our clients or for markets - not just advertising. That has some knock-on to our industry and this might be a little of that," Martin Sorrell, CEO of advertising company WPP, told CNBC.
GOOG closed Thursday's regular session down 8.01 percent at $695. The stock has been trading between $556.52 and $774.38 for the past 52 weeks.